Were the members of the rap group Wu-Tang Clan gangsters? If you asked the FBI in the early '00s, that answer may have been a yes. In 2004, RZA, Raekwon, and the rest of the group were cleared following a five-year investigation into Wu-Tang's drug use and possible gang connections, but the FBI's habit of questioning Black artists has a much deeper history.
In 1989, the FBI's assistant director of public affairs sent a letter to Bryan Turner, the president of Priority Records, objecting to N.W.A' s infamous song "F*ck Tha Police." That famed incident was one of many inquiries made by the FBI regarding musical artists and their lyrical content. N.W.A and Wu-Tang Clan join a long list of FBI-investigated artists and musicians that includes John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Elvis, the Kingsmen, and Insane Clown Posse. Both Insane Clown Posse and Wu-Tang Clan have been labeled major crime organizations alongside infamous street gangs like the Bloods and the Crips.
So, why did the FBI investigate Wu-Tang Clan in the first place, and is there any truth to the bureau's claims? The story begins with the murder of two drug dealers and slowly fizzles out as justice is served.