November 13, 2014

Ol' Dirty Bastard "Wu Warrior: Remembering ODB" (Vibe, 1/05)

"The fans playfully chanting, "ODB! ODB!" inside the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherfood, N.J., on November 12 had no idea he would be dead in less than 24 hours. After missing the Wu-Tang Clan's first East Coast concert in five years, Russell "Ol' Dirty Bastard" Jones collapsed at approximately 4:35pm the next afternoon inside 36 Records LLC, Wu's New York City studio, after complaining of chest pains earlier that day. By 5:04pm, he was gone. As Vibe goes to press, the exact cause of death remains unknown. // One of the most unpredictable entertainers ever to grab a mike, Dirty always delivered intense realism - whether rapping, yelping, screaming, or absentmindedly singing. Arriving in 1993 with the Wu's debut, Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, Dirty, who eventually created a slew of aliases (Big Baby Jesus, Ason Unique, Dirt Dog, and Dirt McGirt, just to name a few), was in a chamber all his own." (Updated: playlist added below...)

"Unfortunately, the rapper's tragic passing two days before his 36th birthday didn't come as a complete surprise to those familiar with his past. Erratic behavior and a history of drug abuse and arrests led to ODB spending time in prison for violating probation and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Although the comedic but trouble genius had been released in May 2003 and immediately signed a deal with Roc-A-Fella, the possibility of implosion was tragically persistent. // Troubles aside, Dirt's influence was immense. He garnered a Grammy nomination for his 1995 debut, Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, and hits like "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and "Got Your Money." He was one of the first hard-core rappers ever to spit 16s on pop ditties, blessings Mariah Carey's "Fantasy" remix and Pras's "Ghetto Superstar (That Is What You Are)," while his carefree crooning undoubtedly persuaded a whole generation of thug rappers to sing. We'll remember most, however, his hilarious antics, like bum-rushing the stage at the '98 Grammys ("Wu-Tang is for the children!"), or taking a limo to get food stamps with MTV news. Ol' Dirty Bastard may have had problems, but he truly birthed a unique style. Here, those who knew and loved him share their memories of one of the most dynamic performers hip hop has ever seen... (read below)" - Vibe, 1/05.