Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics And Men: 10 Things We Learned
(L-R): Mathematics, Cappadonna, Raekwon, Method Man, GZA, Inspechta Deck, Goshtface Killah, Masta Killa, U-God and RZA.
Kyle Christy/Courtesy of Showtime

10 Things We Learned From Showtime's 'Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics And Men'

A highlight of revelations from Mass Appeal and Showtime's Wu-Tang Clan documentary.

The early '90s marked a period of unrest for New York City hip-hop, as artists from the city's five boroughs struggled to compete with the new crop of emerging talent from the West Coast. Enter the Wu-Tang Clan, whose goal was to put their Staten Island stomping grounds on the map while recapturing the magic that established the Big Apple as rap's epicenter a decade prior. Comprised of RZA, GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta Killa - with Cappadonna later joining the fold - the Wu-Tang Clan burst on the scene in late 1992 with their debut single, "Protect Ya Neck," which caught wildfire in underground circles and on college radio. The success of the raucous, hook-less posse cut caught the attention of Loud Records CEO Steve Rifkind, who inked the group to a groundbreaking, non-exclusive record deal, allowing the group's individual members the freedom to sign solo deals with competing record companies.

Months after their November 1993 Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) debut, the Wu-Tang Clan became the hottest crew in hip-hop and earned platinum status while single-handedly putting New York City on their back. Following up Enter the Wu-Tang with a succession of solo albums from Method Man, GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, the Clan reached their apex in 1997 with their sophomore double album, Wu-Tang Forever, which debuted atop the Billboard 200 and was certified 4x platinum by year's end. From there, the group continued to succeed as a collective and individually, however, internal turmoil and a lack of cohesion as a unit would cause the crew to unravel, a journey chronicled in Mass Appeal and Showtime’s docu-series Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men.

The four-episode series documents each Clan member's humble beginnings, the formation of the group and their rise to fame. IWith various members speaking candidly about what led to the group's dissension, the series delivers a rawness akin to the brand of music they've presented to fans over the decades.

After watching Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics And Men, VIBE highlights ten things learned, giving added insight into the inner-workings of one of rap's iconic collectives.


The Wu-Tang Clan's Brooklyn Roots

Often credited with putting Staten Island on the rap map, the Wu-Tang Clan are regarded as cultural ambassadors for the oft-overlooked borough. However, while the majority of the Clan's members hail from Shaolin's notorious Park Hill and Stapleton Housing projects, the crew's genesis can be traced by to Brooklyn, the home of GZA and the Ol' Dirty Bastard. As two of the founding fathers of the All in Together Now crew - which would ultimately evolve into the Wu-Tang Clan - the pair, along with RZA, originally called BK home base, cultivating their talents in GZA's neighborhood of Bed Stuy and Ol' Dirty Bastard's childhood apartment of East New York. After RZA and GZA's unsuccessful stints on Tommy Boy and Cold Chillin' Records, respectively, the trio went back to the drawing board, hunkering down in Staten Island and joining forces with the remaining members of the Wu-Tang Clan, and the rest is history.

RZA's Connection To Steubenville, Ohio

One revelation that came to light in Of Mics And Men is the significance of Steubenville, Ohio in RZA's transformation from Prince Rakeem and the formation of the Wu-Tang Clan as a whole. In 1990, RZA and his mother relocated to Steubenville, where the producer became embroiled in a fight for his freedom after being hit with an attempted murder charge for wounding two men during a shootout. "It was a bad night," RZA remembers of the intense encounter. "I had got into some trouble to whereas violence ensued. A kid got shot, it led to me facing eight years in jail. I went to the trial and black dudes don't really go to trial and win. The prosecutors wasn't making no deals with me.” Luckily, for RZA, it would be determined that he acted in self-defense and found not guilty, a moment he marks as a turning point in his life. "My mother came out and she saw me. She looked me in my eyes and said, 'This is my second chance, don't look back, walk straight. Walk that straight path.' I did that. I zigged back." Following his acquittal, RZA returned to New York City with a renewed focus, leaving his criminal exploits behind to dedicate his life to making music.

The Story Behind The Wu-Tang Clan Logo

The Wu-Tang Clan's "W" logo ranks among the most distinctive and iconic stamps in hip-hop. Of Mics And Men explores the storied history behind the logo, which was created by Wu-Tang Clan producer Mathematics at the behest of RZA. After sketching multiple variations to flesh out his ideas, a hard, 24-hour deadline set by RZA prompted Mathematics to come up with what would be the finalized version of the Wu emblem. "I went to the store, I went to the weed spot," Mathematics recalls. "I came in, rolled up, smoked. Was drinking my 40 [oz.], then I remember I sat on the floor. So, I drew it and knowing all the sketches we went through previously and all the talk, I said, 'You know what? This gotta be it." Compensated $400 - half the amount of RZA's monthly rent at the time - for his services, Mathematics would go on to earn production credits on multiple albums from members of the Wu and the group itself, but the "W" stands as his most lasting contribution to the culture.

Mitchell "Divine" Diggs' Tenuous Relationship With The Wu-Tang Clan

RZA is viewed as the face of the Wu-Tang Clan, but behind the scenes, his elder brother Mitchell "Divine" Diggs was pulling the strings, orchestrating various deals and partnerships for the Clan. A self-professed "tyrant" and callous businessman, Divine's exact role in the Wu hierarchy has long been a mystery, but Of Mics And Men helps provide context and casts a light on the shadowy figure. During the early days of the Wu, Divine played the background as a silent investor, using funds accrued in the streets to help fund the crew's endeavors. As time progressed, Divine would be brought into the fold as part of the Wu's management team, a role he flourished in, according to Of Mics And Men. "Whatever I did was the foundation to create Wu-Tang. They came to my house to make the music. RZA's my little brother. So RZA's like, ‘Okay, I'ma make all the music, you're gonna run the business,' and I go start the company. I remember I got my first Macintosh and I was like, 'What the f**k do you do with a computer? And within a month or two, I had QuickBooks in there, Peachtree, which is all basically a bunch of software for accounting purposes 'cause I'm managing the group. And I eventually just got good at it. Before I knew it, I was reading all the contracts, I was negotiating all the deals. Wu-Tang Productions started getting big, we were expanding as a company."

However, Divine's professional and working relationship with the Wu-Tang Clan became strained amid what members perceived as shady business tactics, including his refusal to release them from their contracts with Wu-Tang Productions upon request. Divine admits his hesitation to sign the paperwork, crediting his brother RZA with convincing him to wave the white flag. "I said, 'I ain't giving sh*t back,' he says in reference to giving Wu members the right to pursue other opportunities. "And RZA was like, 'Give all their rights back. Let them all go out of their contracts. If you don't let 'em go, you'll never have them.' My brother is wiser than me in that sense." The decision helped salvage the relationship between RZA and his groupmates, but led to a major hit financially, with Divine claiming to have lost an average of $10 million dollars a year in the process. According to Divine, he and the group are no longer on speaking terms, as his interview for the series were done separately from the other members, evidence of his estrangement from the Wu.

Oliver "Power" Grant's Role In The Wu-Tang Empire

Another clandestine figure from the Wu-Tang family tree is Oliver "Power" Grant, a fellow Staten Island native whom Wu member U-God describes as "A stone cold hustling machine." Despite not having any experience working in the music industry, Power, who was partners with RZA's elder brother Divine, would be summoned by RZA to get in on the ground floor of what would become the Wu empire. "Divine is my man," Power shares in Of Mics And Men. "I never really hung out with RZA, but obviously, yeah, that's my man brother. He's like, 'Yo, you still wanna do this music sh*t? We gotta do it now if you wanna do it."

Making a sizable investment in the future of the Wu-Tang Clan using funds accrued in the street, Power was listed as an executive producer on Wu-Tang Clan's debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang: (36 Chambers). Power would also play a pivotal role in helping launch the Wu-Wear clothing, which he started from the mail-order in the back of Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx album. Credited with cross-pollinating the Wu-Tang Clan's music with the fashion world, Power's power moves led to the opening of various Wu Wear stores across the country, resulting in annual revenue topping out at upwards of $25 million during the group's peak years, according to Of Mics And Men.

The Wu-Tang Clan’s Music Was Allegedly Banned From Hot 97

Weeks after the Wu-Tang Clan's seismic sophomore album, Wu-Tang Forever, debuted atop the Billboard Albums chart, Staten Island's finest were tapped to headline New York City radio station Hot 97's annual Summer Jam concert. However, in Of Mics and Men, Wu member Inspectah Deck revealed that the group's appearance at the concert was the result of an alleged ultimatum made by the station itself. "Hot 97 at the time, they wanted us to do Summer Jam," he claims. "The deal was, 'You gotta come back and we gotta do this Hot 97 Summer Jam or we're not gonna play any more of your records on our station." To add insult to injury, upon the group's arrival at the venue, they discovered that the Bad Boy Records set had bled into their own, which Wu-Tang road manager Mook and the rest of the crew viewed as a sign of disrespect on the part of Hot 97. "We come out our own pocket, get our own tickets, fly back," Mook remembers. "We get to the Summer Jam, Puffy is on the stage. It was him and Ma$e." In response to the perceived slight, Ghostface Killah did the unthinkable, coaxing the crowd into a "F**k Hot 97" chant, upon which the group's mics were cut off and the stadium lights came on, interrupting their performance.

While various members of the Wu shared Ghost's sentiments, his verbal assault on Hot 97 came at a price, with the station banning the group from the station and removing their music from their playlists. According to Inspectah Deck, the Wu's beef with Hot 97 would prove to be costly and alter their bottom line as a group, as well as soloists. "They didn't play our records for like the next ten years," Deck claims. "Us not being involved while they playing the Biggie shit and they playing the Nas sh*t and everybody that was rocking with us at that time, that affected our sales. That affected our touring, that affected everything. That affected our presence."

The Fallout From Leaving Rage Against The Machine’s Tour

Rap's kinship with rock music is a storied one, with superstars from both genres having collaborated on some of the most popular songs in music history and accounted for many of pop culture's unforgettable moments. With their cult-like following garnering them the rock star status and the success of their second album Wu-Tang Forever, the Wu-Tang Clan joining Rage Against The Machine’s tour in the summer of 1997 seemed like a no-brainer, presenting the group with an opportunity to add to their audience and expand their reach even further. "Wu-Tang Forever [tour] was the first time I saw blacks, whites, Native Americans, Latins, my Asian brothers [together]," RZA recalls in Of Mics And Men. "I saw straight, I saw gay brothers and I just had an epiphany: the five human families, the black red yellow white and brown are all in one room. All rocking with us. So, I'm like this, I'm like, 'Yo, it's in my hands. These five families come together and these [hands] become our wings.’"

However, as the tour progressed, tension within the group would boil over, with members of the Wu divided on whether to continue on the tour or call it quits, a decision that partly hinged on the group's unhappiness with their compensation in contrast to Rage Against The Machine's. "People [was] going crazy for us," Mook says. “It was beautiful, but the Clan niggas was feeling like they should get more than $45,000 a night. Rage [Against The Machine] [was] getting all the money." The fallout from the Wu's decision to leave the tour prematurely would mark what many consider the beginning of the end of their legendary run as a full unit.

How Police Brutality Impacted The Group

Throughout the Wu-Tang Clan's dominant run in the '90s, the group's relationship with law enforcement was often strained, with members and their affiliates feeling targeted by the police, particularly in their home borough of Staten Island. One incident that rocked the Clan was the murder of Ernest "Kase" Sayon, a close friend of Method Man who died in police custody following an assault at the hands of police. Footage of the attack quickly spread, resulting in a string of protests in Park Hill and its surrounding areas, prompting a close examination between the history of police brutality against African American residents of Staten Island. In addition to Sayon's murder, tension between the Wu and law enforcement reached a fever pitch when Ol' Dirty Bastard was accused of shooting at plainclothed cops during a car chase, a charge that was ultimately dropped after it was determined the rapper was not in possession of a firearm during the time of the incident. These two instances, which were highlighted in Of Mics And Men, were clear indicators that even their stardom didn't protect the Wu from the harsh realities of race relations in America.

Ol' Dirty Bastard's Beef With RZA Over Signing With Roc-A-Fella Records

RZA's professional relationship with various members of the Wu-Tang Clan has been contentious, but the rift that hit home most for the producer was his spat with Ol' Dirty Bastard, who requested a release from his Wu-Tang Productions contract following his release from prison in 2003. Announcing a partnership with Damon Dash and Roc-A-Fella Records - as well as a name change to Dirt McGirt - during a press conference on his first day as a free man, Ol' Dirty Bastard's decision to switch teams ruffled a few feathers, most notably RZA, who shared his feelings on the situation in Of Mics And Men. "I did not want to sign Dirty off of Wu-Tang Productions," he explains. "I had a lot of plans for him. 'Yo, you're gonna come home, I got a home for you. I got a studio for you. You're gonna have at least a half-million fucking dollars to sit around and play with and we're gonna make the best f**king album. And that's what I had planned for him. And for him to think that anybody's gonna care about him or his music or his career or his life or his babies' life more than me is trick knowledge to me."

However, according to Ol' Dirty's mother, Cheryl Jones, her son had no choice but to part ways with his cousin due to a lack of financial stability. "He was penniless," Jones recalls. "He had no money when he came out. I called RZA, I said, 'Come on.' Everybody thought that he shouldn't have rushed back into work, but if he would've have rushed back into work, he would've been back in jail. Because if that child support wasn't being paid, they would've locked him back up again." Unfortunately, Ol' Dirty Bastard never got the opportunity to release his Roc-A-Fella debut, as the rapper passed away on November 13, 2004, from a drug overdose, snuffing out the light of one of rap's most animated figures.

Masta Killa's Connection To Marvin Gaye

Of all of the Wu-Tang Clan members, the most mysterious is Masta Killa, one of the last artists to join the Wu family. A native of Brooklyn's East New York section, Masta Killa's love for music can be traced back to his youth, where his father introduced him to R&B. "My father was a singer, he was heavy into R&B," Masta Killa shares. "And he would even come up the block singing sometimes. And when I would hear his voice, I would almost jump out the window 'cause I was excited to know that my father was coming home. So, through trials and tribulations, when he left the home for good, that was traumatic for me." However, even though he was absent physically, his father's record collection helped foster a bond between the two in spirit. "One thing he left was all his records and I would play them every day because that's how I connected with him. I remember him singing this record and I would get it and put it on the turntable and listen to it, just to remember hearing his voice."

In Of Mics And Men, Masta Killa reconnected with his father, who gave insight into the rapper's rich legacy, which includes ties to one of the legendary singers of all time, as well as an iconic revolutionary. "When he was a baby, I used to sing The Stylistics to put him to sleep,” says his Killa’s father. “He was always calm, that's his nature, but he needed that music just to put him to sleep, he'd just go right out (laughs).” Killa adds: “Music has always been our foundation in my family. With my mother, her cousin was Marvin Gaye and we had that music in the family, the arts. My mother, her maiden name was Gaye. My mother's from North Carolina and my father's from Virginia, which we are direct descendants of Nat Turner. That's his family."


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Courtesy of Starz

Who Shot Ghost? 9 Of The Wildest 'Power' Fan Theories

People cannot stop talking about Power's mid-season finale and for good reason. The closer left fans puzzled with the shooting of James "Ghost" St. Patrick with many suspects to highlight.

There's Saxe, Tommy, Tasha, Tate, Paz, Dre and Tariq shown heading towards or away from Truth nightclub. We know at least three of the five are strapped since we see Paz and Saxe grab guns (Tommy is never without one). With so many players at hand, it should be easy for fans to break down who shot Ghost before the series comes back in January 2020.

But this is 2019 and fandom has more layers than Ghost's waves. Theories have floated around social media with the show's creator Courtney Kemp giving us a few clues along the way.

The Starz show pulls from Shakespearean elements but Kemp says the final episodes are inspired by the 1951 film Rashomon. The film is known for popularizing the idea of showcasing one incident from the perspective of both the protagonist, antagonist and supporting characters. There's a death in Rashomon, but we don't see Ghost die per se, leaving more questions than answers for fans.

"We’ve always talked about how the show is really Shakespearean," Kempt tells Entertainment Weekly about Ghost's journey. As the mid-season winds down, Ghost is visited by the sins and loves of his past like Angela, daughter Raina, and frienemy Kanan.

"I draw from a lot of different classical references, and people aren’t usually aware of them because it looks different and it’s contemporary and, frankly, because it’s people of color," she adds. "People don’t see that it’s based on Shakespeare, but if you think about this season and how it’s been about fathers and sons, mothers and sons, and familial bonds, it’s been very influenced by Shakespeare. And this is very much influenced by Richard III. Richard kills a lot of people, and then they come and visit him as ghosts, so this is very similar."

The final five episodes are bound to reveal who killed Ghost and give closure to our favorite and not-so-favorite characters. While we wait for Power to return on January 5, check out the wildest theories behind who shot Ghost.

1. The Ramona Garrity Theories

Ramona Garrity, played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson, is one of the series' most refreshing new characters and one of mystery. With a Type A personality, Ramona is a fan of having her ducks in a row and her plans in order. Fans have a few reasons as to why she would be the one behind the gun.

She wasn't one of the characters walking up to Truth nightclub because she was already in the club. With this advantage, fans believe she shot Ghost after overhearing his conversation with Angela's sister Paz (Elizabeth Rodgriguez). James doesn't fit the vision she had of him for Lorette Walsh’s potential lieutenant governor, so he has to go, right? Or maybe she shot Ghost in order to boost his political image. This theory doesn't make much sense since Ramona and her team want to keep James' image squeaky clean for the campaign.

Then, there are these two theories. One being that Ramona shot James because she is the sister of Breeze, the first person Ghost killed during his drug-dealing career. Ramona has been rather quiet about her past (other than her ex-husband's cheating scandal), but she seems to know her way around the block. When she chats with Cassandra about keeping her affair with Tate on the low for an exchange for a congressional seat, she drops factoids about the inner city. She also keeps Tate's campaign on the right path with events focused on the people, which she gathered quite easily.

Lastly, there's a very unlikely theory that Ramona is Terry Silver's ex-wife. We don't see that as an option considering the very public nature of Ramona's sex tape with her ex-husband.

2. Tommy Did It To Avenge LaKeisha

We don't have to dig too deep into this one. While it's a possibility, it would be way too obvious for Tommy to kill Ghost at Truth. He's had plenty of opportunities to go in for the kill but hasn't. Is it because he's hip to who really killed LaKeisha?

When sharing his grief with Tariq and Tasha about LaKeisha, he seems to believe Tasha's grief about her longtime friend. But like Tariq, Tommy can read past the bullsh*t. Tommy might've been on the way to see Tasha after finding out who was after both him and Ghost at the warehouse.

3. Ghost Staged The Shooting Himself

Ghost is on top of the world in season six for many reasons. He's finally broken free of the drug life (with the killing of Jason) and can now move somewhat clean. We can't see his plan, but the idea of Tariq turning himself in for Raymond's murder has to be connected to a bigger puzzle piece. As far as we know, he's unaware of Sergeant Blanca Rodriguez's arrest warrant but his favor from 2-Bit does cause some skepticism. He could've asked 2-Bit to help stage the shooting in an effort to keep his enemies at bay.

If this theory holds up, it would take the attention off of his son and can buy him more time to figure out an alibi for Silver's murder.

4. Kanan Did It Because Ghosts Are Real

Leave it up to Bow Wow to conjure up a theory so outrageous. The actor-musician shared this theory on social media Sunday (Nov. 3) after the mid-season finale. According to him, the spirits who visit Ghost are actual spirits except for Kanan. He also believes Tariq had a hand in the deed since he helped Tommy kill Proctor (Jerry Ferrara).


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A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Nov 4, 2019 at 1:33pm PST

But this doesn't hold up–at all. The writers have proven Kanan's death several times throughout the season. There's his corpse in the season opener, Tariq taking Kanan's ashes and the feds confirming Kanan's death. It's a troupe used in many shows to remind us that our favorite characters are not coming back (Poussey in Orange Is The New Black, Wes on How to Get Away With Murder, Derek Shepard from Grey's Anatomy). It also showcases the influence of the character throughout the show. We see how much of an influence Kanan had on Tommy and Ghost and now, Tariq.

Which leads us to...

5. Tariq, Tariq Tariq

Everyone has ruled Tariq out because it doesn't appear that his character is near Truth. Don't let your eyes deceive you. Tariq seems to be leaving or entering part of the High Line bridge, a walkway that goes from Gansevoort and Washington Street up to 30th Street. If you aren't from New York, here's the translation: the walkway is just blocks away from Truth, the fictional nightclub located in the Meatpacking District. He still could be the person behind the trigger or at least apart of Ghost's plan to off himself.

6. Tasha's Boyfriend

Leave it up to a randos like Quentin to shake things up. Tasha's new beau cares immensely for her and seeing the bruises on her arm only invigorates his need to protect her. We don't know much about Q, but we do know he works in construction (and can afford Burberry shirts, aye). He also seems to be hip to the local drug game since his child's mother is battling addiction. Could Q also want to get Ghost back for supplying the neighborhood with drugs and violence? Ghost seems to look at Q with a heavy dose of intensity when he visits Tasha's daycare making the connection even more plausible.

7. Yasmine St. Patrick

Baby Yasmin❤❤❤ #PowerTV #Fambo❤ pic.twitter.com/fmPpZn6Rki

— Tasha St.Patrick (@RideOrDie247) December 14, 2017

Kemp has shared how she wants to keep Baby Yaz away from the violence on the show and she's done a good job at it. Once again, Yaz is mentioned in a heated argument between Tasha and her mother Estelle (played by Debbi Morgan) and once more when Ghost threatens to take away Yaz from Tasha. Maybe Baby Yaz is tired of the back and forth (and lack of screen time) and wants to show her Daddy she's not the one for games.

Maybe, maybe not.

8. Tasha's Mother

Estelle isn't a happy camper when she sees Tasha teaching her grandson Tariq how to move weight. She tells Tasha they need Jesus but also might take an initiative to get rid of the "Devil" in their life that is Ghost.

9. Kadeem, LaKeisha's Ex

Remember Kadeem? He's one of the characters in the Power universe that has been talked about often but never seen–until now. Played by Jesse Williams, Kadeem is given a face (and a crazy amount of tattoos) when Tommy drops Cash off after the death of LaKeisha.

Their exchange is brief but Kadeem tells Tommy to let him know if he ever has a hunch about who killed the mother of his child. Kadeem is about that life, considering his stint in jail and his slight resemblance in personality to Tommy. The two have that "crazy eyes" look and a love for gold chains. Maybe Kadeem was under the impression that Ghost killed LaKeisha and wanted to do the deed himself.

Williams shared with Entertainment Weekly small details behind his cameo and if he'll appear in other aspects of Power, including the much-talked-about spin-off series. "I just don’t know. We really are fans of each other, we’d love to figure out ways to work and she’s got really cool ideas for the spinoffs," he said about working with Kemp. "I’m open to doing cool, creative, different work that I haven’t done before. It’s certainly a possibility as far as I can tell."

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Ghosts, Rappers, Villains And Superheroes: 21 Best Celebrity Halloween Costumes

Halloween snuck up on us this year. Kids, parents, and some of our favorite artists and celebrities went all out with some of the spookiest, funniest, and flyest costumes this year. And as always, their styles were and are entertaining.

Some of your favorite artists such as Jhené Aiko, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga dressed up as some of their favorite villains and superheroes such as DC Comics character, Harley Quinn, Ash Ketchum. Rapper Cardi B kept it sexy by donning a seductive nurse uniform, G-Eazy showed-out as The Joker, Ciara and Russell Wilson tapped into their inner Jay Z and Beyonce, and Drake paid homage to his father.

Speaking of Hova the god, the Brooklyn-bred came out as Pulp Fiction's Vincent Vega, Lil Nas X did his best impression of Cam'ron by rocking a pink mink while displaying a pink flip phone.  Actress Tracee Ellis Ross put on her best DJ Quik uniform, comedian Kevin Hart transformed into a high school-era Dwayne Johnson, and Gabrielle Union-Wade took it back to Compton with her character from the 2000 movie, Bring it On film.

Take a look below at some of the best Halloween costumes this year.



1. Ciara and Russell Wilson as Jay Z and Beyonce


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From the Wilsons to the Carters to the Obamas... Much Love & Respect. We goin Ape $#!% #HappyHalloween

A post shared by Ciara (@ciara) on Oct 30, 2019 at 5:22am PDT

2. Tyga as Day of the Dead Skeleton


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A post shared by T-Raww (@tyga) on Oct 29, 2019 at 7:26pm PDT

3. Cardi B as a sexy nurse


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I’m here to assist your shhhttaaaankin ass❤️

A post shared by Iamcardib (@iamcardib) on Oct 27, 2019 at 12:06pm PDT

4. Nicki Minaj and Kenneth Petty as The Joker and Harley Quinn


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📌 Sleeeeeeze 📌

A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj) on Oct 30, 2019 at 9:14am PDT

5. G-Eazy as The Joker


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A post shared by G-Eazy (@g_eazy) on Oct 28, 2019 at 12:58pm PDT

6. Jhené Aiko as Ash Ketchum


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‘tis the season 😊

A post shared by Chilombo (@jheneaiko) on Oct 27, 2019 at 12:04am PDT

7. Liam Payne as Superman 8. Kevin Hart as his friend Dwayne Johnson


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😂😂😂😂😂😂 This shit makes me laugh. #NailedIt #HappyHalloween #PeepTheNapkinUnderMyElbow

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on Oct 30, 2019 at 7:37pm PDT

9. Demi Lovato as Marie Antoinette


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Halloween round 1... I told y’all I don’t play on Halloween!! It’s my time to shine 😝✨ glam team killed it 🙌🏼👏🏼 @etienneortega & @paulnortonhair 💀🎃👻

A post shared by Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) on Oct 25, 2019 at 1:05am PDT

10. Tracee Ellis Ross and the "Black-ish" cast


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You know @djquik had to roll through and show @gabunion some #CaliforniaLove for her Birthday 😂😂 facial hair courtesy of my @glossier Brow Flick. Thank you Gab for such a fun party. Happy early birthday to us!

A post shared by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on Oct 28, 2019 at 7:05am PDT


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Hi @lupitanyongo it’s me again. Another year, another costume. It’s the @blackishabc this Tuesday at 9:30pm/8:30c! #blackish #halloween

A post shared by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on Oct 25, 2019 at 8:59am PDT


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Tethered. The Johnsons do it again. Shout out to @blackishabc hair, makeup, and wardrobe for killing the Halloween game. And there’s still more! This Tuesday 9:30pm/8:30c #blackish #halloween

A post shared by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on Oct 25, 2019 at 8:59am PDT



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Brought It. #CaliforniaLove

A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) on Oct 27, 2019 at 1:50pm PDT


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You know @djquik had to roll through and show @gabunion some #CaliforniaLove for her Birthday 😂😂 facial hair courtesy of my @glossier Brow Flick. Thank you Gab for such a fun party. Happy early birthday to us!

A post shared by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on Oct 28, 2019 at 7:05am PDT

11. Missy Elliott as herself


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WOW🤩😱 This Halloween I decided to RECREATE my 1st album cover from 22 YEARS AGO one of these pictures I took ONLY 3 DAYS AGO the other was 22 YEARS AGO CAN YALL TELL THE DIFFERENCE?? 😅😩🔥🔥🔥#SUPADUPAFLY

A post shared by Missy Elliott (@missymisdemeanorelliott) on Oct 28, 2019 at 9:01am PDT

12. Gabrielle Union-Wade as her character in Bring it On


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Brought It. #CaliforniaLove

A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) on Oct 27, 2019 at 1:50pm PDT

13. Kourtney Kardashian as Ariana Grande


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no tears left to cry

A post shared by Kourtney Kardashian (@kourtneykardash) on Oct 16, 2019 at 11:25am PDT

14. Megan Thee Stallion as Mortal Kombat characters


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Choose your fighter 🔪 #happyhalloween

A post shared by Megan Thee Stallion (@megantheestaalion) on Oct 31, 2019 at 7:49am PDT

15. Casanova as Big Worm


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Playing with my money is like playing with my emotions -BIG WORM

A post shared by CASANOVA (@casanova_2x) on Oct 31, 2019 at 8:27am PDT

16. Lil Nas X as Cam'ron


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A post shared by Lil Nas X (@lilnasx) on Oct 31, 2019 at 1:11pm PDT

17. Jeezy and Jeannie Mai as YG and Kehlani


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Cali..fornia Love 🌴🎼

A post shared by @ jeezy on Oct 29, 2019 at 12:35pm PDT

18. Lil Pump as an Incredible Hulk Zombie


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A post shared by @ lilpump on Oct 24, 2019 at 6:45pm PDT

19. Saweetie as a Playboy Bunny


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A post shared by saweetie (@saweetie) on Oct 30, 2019 at 1:39am PDT

20. Big Sean Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse


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A post shared by BIGSEAN (@bigsean) on Oct 31, 2019 at 11:37am PDT

21. Jay Z as a Pulp Fiction's Vincent Vega


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A post shared by Lil Nas X (@lilnasx) on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:27am PDT

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Steve Grayson

John Witherspoon's Funniest Hip-Hop Music Video Cameos

Actor and comedian John Witherspoon died at his home on Tuesday (Oct. 30). The late actor’s family released a statement on Twitter.

"It is with deepest sorrow that we can confirm our beloved husband and father, John Witherspoon, one of the hardest working men in show business, died today at his home in Sherman Oaks (Los Angeles) at the age of 77," his family said in a statement. Witherspoon is survived by his wife, two sons and "a large family," the statement said.

"We are all in shock, please give us a minute for a moment in privacy and we will celebrate his life and his work together. John used to say 'I'm no big deal,' but he was a huge deal to us."

It is with deep sadness we have to tweet this, but our husband & father John Witherspoon has passed away. He was a Legend in the entertainment industry, and a father figure to all who watched him over the years. We love you “POPS” always & forever.

- The Witherspoon Family pic.twitter.com/ov9P34kaMn

— John Witherspoon (@John_POPS_Spoon) October 30, 2019

The cause of Witherspoon's death is unknown.

The Detroit native is mostly known for playing Ice Cube’s father in his directorial debut Friday, as well as its sequels, Next Friday and Friday After Next.

"I'm devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon," Ice Cube wrote on Twitter. "Life won't be as funny without him,” Ice Cube wrote on Twitter.

Witherspoon also played John “Pops” Williams on the sitcom The Wayans Bros, portrayed the character Spoon on NBC’s The Tracey Morgan Show, and had roles alongside Eddie Murphy in Boomerang and Vampire in Brooklyn. He contributed voice acting to The Boondocks, where he played Granddad alongside Regina King, who voiced the two children, Riley and Huey Freeman. Most recently, Witherspoon received television credits on The First Family, black-ish, and the Adult Swim series Black Jesus.

But along with his work on TV and film, Witherspoon was well-liked throughout the hip-hop community and appeared in multiple music videos, even playing a small role in Death Row’s 1995 mini-film Murder Was the Case. Below is a brief list of music videos that Witherspoon appeared in among some of rap's greats.

Jay Z – “I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me)”

In the video for his Neptunes-produced hit, Jay-Z is hosting a mansion party with his Roc-A-Fella family that’s causing a racket in his neighborhood. John Witherspoon is in full "get off my lawn" mode as an ornery neighbor. But once he sees the beautiful women rolling in, he changes his tune. He eventually scams his way into the party by faking like he’s other black celebs – “don’t y’all know me? I’m Will Smith! Jackie Robinson! Jay-Z!” – and dances the night away.

Field Mob – "Sick of Being Lonely"

Field Mob’s “Sick of Being Lonely” was a bop when it dropped in 2001, and the Atlanta duo had John Witherspoon come by and relived a couple of his memorable moments from Friday and The Wayans Brothers. Then Witherspoon does a quick dance and tells the two artists to kiss ladies “from the roota to the toota,” citing the title of their album.

Goodie Mob – "They Don’t Dance No Mo”

The lead single from Goodie Mob’s 1998 album Still Standing, “They Don’t Dance No Mo” finds John Witherspoon sitting in his living room entertaining his family as he brags on his dancing skills. After showing off his signature shoulder shake, Witherspoon calls on his son, played by Goodie Mob member CeeLo Green, to display his footwork as well. Witherspoon appears at the conclusion of the video, where we see him and his family dancing together.

LL Cool J – “Ain’t Nobody”

LL Cool J’s “Ain’t Nobody” video is a musical family reunion. The fun-filled clip, where everyone enjoys time in a huge swimming pool, features the likes of Brian McKnight, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Alfonso Ribeiro, Cedric the Entertainer, and former NBA player John Salley, among others. A shirtless Witherspoon, surrounded by women, appears near the end of the video performing his signature shoulder shake.

Hitman Sammy Sam – "Step Daddy"

In the most obscure video of the bunch, Atlanta rapper Hitman Sammy Sam's 2003 song "Step Daddy" depicts how stepfathers are disrespected by their spouse's children. In the hilarious video, Witherspoon plays the song's namesake, with two bad ass kids running him ragged.

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