Oliver "Power" Grant

Oliver "Power" Grant (born November 23, 1973) is an American entrepreneur, producer, streetwear clothing mogul and actor. As a close associate of the hip hop group, Wu-Tang Clan,[1] Grant executive produced all of the Wu-Tang Clan albums. He is the original founder and CEO of Wu Wear clothing (in 1995) and stores.[citation needed]

Oliver "Power" Grant
Powerwu.jpg.png
Born
Oliver Grant

November 23, 1973
Staten Island, New York, United States
NationalityAmerican
OccupationMedia and Fashion Mogul
Known forWu-Tang Clan

Life and CareerEdit

Wu-Tang AffiliationEdit

Grant grew up in the Park Hill projects on Staten Island, New York with members of the Wu-Tang Clan. He was childhood friends with RZA's older brother Divine, and got in on the ground floor of the Clan's inception by making a sizable investment in the group's future. Over a game of chess, two of the Wu-Tang Clan founding members gave him the name “Power” because that is the amount of force it takes in order to do work. Grant is also an older brother of Wu-Tang's affiliate Killarmy member Killa Sin.

Wu-WearEdit

Grant became successful as a clothing mogul back in 1995 when he launched Wu-Wear, often regarded as one of the first artist-inspired clothing lines. He began by selling clothes with the group's logo on it via mail order. Initially, manufacturers wouldn't extend Grant the credit, but after the group saw platinum success, he opened a Wu Wear store on Victory Blvd in their hometown of Staten Island, New York City and an office in Manhattan's garment district to sell wholesale.[2] According to the Of Mics and Men documentary which debuted on Showtime in 2019, Power's business moves led to the opening of four stores across the country. The line was carried in Macy's, Rich's and d.e.m.o,[3] resulting in annual revenue topping out at upwards of $25 million during the group's peak years.[4] In 2008, Grant renamed it "Wu-Tang Brand" and discontinued the Wu-Wear line which was being counterfeit and sold online.

Grant and the RZA joined forces with Live Nation Merchandise to relaunch the classic clothing line in 2017.[5] Power serves as the brand's "Historic Creative Consultant" to ensure quality creative control. The line includes classic designs as well as new items. [6] In a 2013 interview, Power discussed the Wu’s lasting legacy and the impact its brand made on the industry, crediting the Wu's clothing line and other successful side-ventures as early entrepreneurialism that laid the foundation and open doors for future generations of Hip Hop artists to explore other business opportunities outside of music. “Nowadays, all the walls are broken [for Hip Hop artists]. That’s what we were fighting for…this culture would be that much...further if there was a lot less blocking going on and a lot less hating on going [by corporate America].”[7]

Grant and the RZA joined forces with Live Nation Merchandise to relaunch the classic clothing line in 2017.[8]

Film and TelevisionEdit

Grant made his film debut as "Knowledge" in the urban cult classic Belly, directed by Hype Williams.[9] In addition, he played the role of "Rich Bower" in writer/director James Toback’s Black and White, which also starred Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Brooke Shields, Elijah Wood, Mike Tyson, and several others. He was also a producer and music supervisor of the film.[citation needed] He would work again with Toback as actor and composer for When Will I Be Loved, starring Neve Campbell.[citation needed] He also had the leading role and was a producer on the feature film Coalition. He has a co-starring role in talk show host and former nationally syndicated shock jock Wendy Williams’ life story Queen of Media as her husband Big Kev.

Wu-Tang: Shaolin StyleEdit

In 1999, Grant produced, developed and released Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style, a four-player 3D fighting video game for the PlayStation. The Wu-Tang Clan is the basis for the game's story and setting and features characters based on their stage personas and the martial arts themes of their music. Some members of the group also provided voiceover work for the game and made vocal and production contributions to the game's music.[citation needed]

Wu-Tang: An American SagaEdit

In Hulu's Wu-Tang: An American Saga series[10], Power is portrayed by actor Marcus Callender, who watched as much footage of Power as he could find[11] and posted "It is a complete honor to be portraying one of the vital pieces of the Wu-Tang Clan" to his Instagram account.

FilmographyEdit

FilmsEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1998 Belly Knowledge
1999 Black And White Rich Bower

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hess, M. (2009). Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide. Greenwood Press. p. 132. ISBN 9780313343216. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
  2. ^ Paybarah, Azi (May 8, 2019). "A Corner Was Renamed For Wu-Tang. Now How About A Youth Center?". New York Times. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  3. ^ "Urban Wear Goes Suburban As More And More White Kids Want To Dress Like Black Kids". CNN Money. December 21, 1998.
  4. ^ Brown, Preezy (July 4, 2019). "10 Things We Learned From Showtime's: 'Wu-Tang Clan Of Mics and Men'". Vibe. Retrieved 2019-07-04.
  5. ^ "Wu-Wear Making A Return After A Decade Away". Billboard. August 14, 2017. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  6. ^ Fitzgerald, Trent (August 15, 2017). "RZA Is Bringing Back The Wu Wear Clothing Brand". The Boombox. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  7. ^ "Oliver "Power" Grant Discusses The Wu-Tang Clan's Success and Legacy". HipHopDX. January 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  8. ^ "Wu-Wear Making A Return After A Decade Away". Billboard. August 14, 2017. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  9. ^ Khal (December 19, 2018). "How Belly Changed Hip Hop And Hollywood". Complex. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  10. ^ Lowry, Brian (September 3, 2019). "'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' joins wave of musical bios". CNN. Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  11. ^ K, Neetha (September 24, 2019). "Marcus Callender Says Wu-Tang Clan A Group Of 9 Superheroes Who Gave Hope To People'". MEAWW. Retrieved 2019-09-24.

External linksEdit