Early Wednesday morning (April 16), a report ran stating that Andre “Christ Bearer” Johnson, a Wu-Tang Clan affiliate, cut off his penis and tried to commit suicide by jumping off the second-story balcony of his North Hollywood apartment. Johnson was discovered on the sidewalk at 1 a.m. and was immediately rushed to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills, where he was reportedly in critical condition and doctors attempted to reattach his penis. An earlier report had mentioned the rapper’s name as Andre Roxx, which caused Wu-Tang to deny the affiliation via Instagram, only for more details to emerge naming Johnson as the individual in question.
Johnson is a rapper who performs as Christ Bearer alongside Meko The Pharaoh in the Long Beach, Calif., duo Northstar, which had been signed to Wu-Tang Productions and released their debut album just over a decade ago. Northstar made their biggest impact in the early 2000s with production from The RZA—under his alias Bobby Digital—resulting in Northstar’s debut album, Bobby Digital Presents: Northstar in 2003.
The RZA is promoting his upcoming movie Brick Mansions, co-starring Paul Walker, and while XXL was speaking with him about the film, the conversation turned to who Andre Johnson is and his affiliation with the Wu. “First of all, I just had seen him recently. He had got out of jail and [was] calling me,” RZA said. “Christ Bearer is a part of the West Coast Killa Beez, a bunch of young guys that was signed to our company 10 years ago. Wu-Tang, we’re from the East Coast. But we did invest in some young guys to try and help any hood. He was a guy from the hood that we gave a shot. I don’t make music with him nowadays. But the story—what he did—is incredible. That shit sound mythical.”
Neighbors in the same building where the rapper was found said that Johnson was not on “any hard drugs,” leading to speculation about his mental health. RZA expressed grief for Johnson’s family, especially his children. “I feel sad for his family first and foremost; I know he has children,” RZA said. “I thought he was a smarter guy than a guy who would do something crazy like that. But at the same time, he been in jail recently, he’s been in trouble. Maybe he’s mentally unstable. Maybe the mental health system should have took a look at him and said, ‘You know what? We got to hold on to this guy for a little longer.’ Because it’s not any sanity; even if you high, this shit don’t sound sane. This sounds more than high. It sound like mental problems or something that was bothering this man’s mind, and he needed help. It’s sad. I send my respect out to his family.”
With Wu-Tang gearing up for new music—despite some internal conflicts broiling—the news brings sadness to the camp. “Christ Bearer is a tragic story, because it’s still the same situation: a guy we gave a chance to,” said RZA. “If I remember that deal back in the day, I remember they signed for, like, $150,000, a record deal from some young guys from Long Beach, Cali. He had a partner named Meko. I liked those guys. I liked what they stood for, young guys trying. I can’t wait to really hear the whole story. It’s sad that it’s Wu-Tang affiliated. It’s like dirty press in a way. I want to know what the fuck moved him to do those things.”
Brick Mansions comes out Friday, April 25; check out XXL for our full conversation with The RZA about the film, Paul Walker and RZA’s acting career, next week. —Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)
Previously: RZA’s 15 Best Beats
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