Updated Monday, June 16, 6:30 p.m. EDT: Earlier today, people all over the Internet thought a set of twins were named after two members of the Wu-Tang Clan. As with many things on the Internet, stuff just isn’t true. As I wrote earlier, I assumed that Dan Lieberman had pulled a fast one and was attempting to go viral. In a lengthy email, Lieberman confirmed it as such.
Lieberman waxed poetically about his love of Wu-Tang and how the joke was years in the making:
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 fifth 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 6. 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.
Lieberman continued to talk about the amazement he had for Ghostface, and how a blond aquaintance laughed at him about his fascination:
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 firstborn 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.
And we all said, “Awwwww.”
From their very first date at a Ghostface concert, to even taking his other friends to Wu-Tang shows, Lieberman was honored to introduce people to music they may have not normally listened to. Three years later, after that first day, Lieberman proposed to the blonde who laughed at him. One year later, they’re married. And a year after that, which happened to be Saturday, she gave birth to their twins. And so the joke manifested itself, and the naming game began:
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, and 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 that 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 glamor.
Another day, another Internet hoax.
In the words of the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, “When it comes to the children, Wu-Tang is for the children. We teach the children.” Apparently a family took those words to heart when they named their newborn twins after two members of Wu-Tang Clan.
According to the Twitter account belonging to Dan Lieberman, there is now a set of twins in the world named Ghostface and Raekwon.
After tweeting the photo to Raekwon, the rapper posted the image on his own Instagram page:
Maybe the whole photo was a stunt by the father to get the rapper’s attention. Nowadays people will do anything to go viral. Naming a child Raekwon isn’t that out of the ordinary. But Ghostface? That’s definitely going to garner a few raised eyebrows on the playground and résumés. I’m going to need to see some official birth certificates from this family. Who knows—maybe they’ll name their next child Rza.
Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.