Choosing a name for your child can be tricky. You want something memorable and unique, but not something that’s gonna give your kid playground grief in the years to come. It’s a tough balance to strike, but for one family of Wu-Tang adepts, the solution to their baby name-game dilemma was clear:
Yes, those are certificates proudly proclaiming the birth of newborn twins Raekwon and Ghostface… Lieberman.
Now, is this a little too viral-meme-ready to be real? …Maybe. It certainly has the hallmarks of something tailor made to rile the internet up – A single image that includes:
-Popular musicians with a rabid fan base.
-Unexpected cultural juxtaposition
So far there’s been no independent confirmation that the picture, shared on the actual Raekwon’s instagram account, is real. Besides, if the Lieberman family was serious about their initiating their Jewish babies into the clan of Wu, shouldn’t one of the kids be named “U-G–d Lieberman”?
Either way, though, it looks like ODB was right all along: Wu Tang really is for the children.
UPDATE 5/16/14, 5:25 PM
Well folks, looks like we were right to wonder whether this was all a little too good to be true. Turns out the Lieberman twins have a pretty awesome dad (yes, we confirmed that he’s the real deal) who sent us the following, setting the record straight.
Still, as far as internet “events” go, this was a great one – congrats to the Lieberman family, and here’s hoping these kids grow up knowing just how important it is to Protect Ya Neck!
I should be asleep. I’m lying on a pull-out recliner, my wife snoring a few feet from me, dealing with the aftermath of being opened up. Two bassinets are in the room, filled with my two sons whose real names I don’t feel the need to announce to the universe. Without knowing it, they’ve been part of a joke that a lot of people saw, many thought was hilarious, and a few thought showed that I was utterly incapable of being a parent. I have made them a little internet famous before they developed speech or object permanence with nothing more than a photo of an unsigned document, a funny reflection of what’s great and awful about the internet, but I feel the need to set the record straight.
I want to apologize to Raekwon (the one born Corey Woods) for involving him in this little scheme. This is a joke many years in the making, and I would hate to give the impression it is a joke at his expense. I remember the first time I heard the Wu-Tang Clan, in the back room of my friend Carlo’s house in 5th grade. I didn’t listen to hip-hop then; my first introduction to rap music was MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice, and after determining they were far inferior to my parents’ old Beatles records, decided I wasn’t down (a bit harsh I know, but I was six. I’d like to think if I had heard some Tribe Called Quest instead, things would have gone another way.) But the mythology of the Wu-Tang Clan resonated with me, as did their intelligence and humor, even as I knew my parents would assume my hearing it meant I would join a gang like some after-school special warned.
At the center of it all was Ghostface. From when I first caught the blast of a hype verse, he stuck with me. HIs energy and his gift for wordplay was impossible to deny, but just the name Ghostface Killah was awesome, like Star Wars and Jurassic Park and all the other things that defined cool for a nerdy, skinny Jewish kid from the middle class Bay Area suburbs. What I find amazing about his music is that, even when I hear a track for the first time, it can bring feelings of nostalgia, like an old friend calls up out of the blue. I joked in high school that I’d name my first born son Ghostface. A pretty blonde acquaintance of mine said she pitied my poor wife; Saturday morning that same pretty blonde girl brought my two sons into this world. Life is strangely wonderful like that.
For our first date, (which wasn’t officially a date) we saw Ghost in concert, along with Method Man and Redman. For all those who have not seen Meth and Red in concert, I can’t recommend it enough; I doubt you can find two performers that will have as much fun on stage, and their joy is contagious. (I considered the name Method, but that’s not even close to an actual name and I can’t forgive him for what he did to Prop Joe on “The Wire,” no matter how much I love his music.) I love taking people to Wu-Tang shows for the first time, as their perceptions of what such a show should be like are always shaken up. I’ve always found the crowd to be diverse in both age and race, and the vibe to be friendly, inviting, and ready to get down. She had a wonderful time, and for the first time I thought I had a shot with a woman who was clearly out of my league. Three years later, I proposed. A year later, we were married, and a year after that, I am sitting in this room with my new family, typing when I should be sleeping.
I never understood the obsession of parents with their children, but the first moment I saw my sons, it grabbed hold of me. I’ve spent hours staring and holding, rocking and caressing. Even acts that should be tedious like feedings and diaper changes seem like minor bumps in a wonderful adventure. I’m sure the novelty will wear off, and that I will eventually become frustrated with some of the countless responsibilities that are now mine. But I am delighted every time I see them, and I am so glad that I am lucky enough for my sons to be born in a good Kaiser hospital staffed by the wonderful women of the California Nurses Association who have done an incredible job caring for my young boys. Seeing how much work went into their delivery and care makes it even more clear that we must do more to provide better access to quality health care. The shocking difference in infant mortality rates based on race and class in this country put to shame claims that we have the best health care system in the world. Maybe if CNN, Fox News and the rest spent more time covering things like that instead of magical planes, politicians reciting talking points, & prepackaged anger from fraudulent numbskulls, we would work harder to fix that for all of our kids. But that’s a question for more important people with more time on their hands than I, because there’s a diaper change with my name on it, and a few thousand scheduled after that.
For those who thought they we actually named our sons after Ghost and Rae, I hope that, rather than feeling tricked, that they can share in a small bit of the joy I feel today. It feels like they already have the love and support of thousands of people they’ll never meet, and for that I am grateful. Peace.
PS Now that this is resolved, the hip-hop related media can go back to bigger questions, like whether Jay-Z runs the Illuminati, when that Ghostface/DOOM collaboration is coming out, and what America is without greed and glamour.