March 28, 2017

Ol' Dirty Bastard "Return to the 36 Chambers" (Rap Pages, 1995)

‘Part insane and strangely comical - but unmistakably funky - Ol’ Dirty’s vocal performances were one-of-a-kind.’ That's an on-point description of Ol' Dirty Bastard and his solo debut, 'Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version,' which was released on this day in 1995 on Elektra Records. The line 'there's no father to Dirty's style' rings true every time you give ODB a listen. With RZA at the helm, the album is consistent production-wise with the Wu sound, but it's ODB's off-groove flow & slurred rhymes that make the project so intoxicating. It's been some years since I've revisited the album, but 'Raw Hide,' 'Brooklyn Zoo,' and others do pop-up in playlists every now and again. Even the classic artwork was ill. Dante Ross has said, ‘Dirty designed the cover, basically. I just marched into the art department one day and blew up his welfare card 40 times its size…’ Around 2011, Get On Down (a reissue label) put out the 'Return To The 36 Chambers' box set, which came with a wallet, welfare card, booklet, poster & of course, the album. I wasn't fortunate enough to get my hands on that version, but it did look dope! The album review above is from Rap Pages, May 1995.

Ol' Dirty Bastard Return to the 36 Chambers Rap Pages May 1995