Ol' Dirty Bastard Overview
Russell Tyrone Jones (November 15, 1968 – November 13, 2004) was an American rapper and occasional producer Hip hop production , who went by the stage name "Ol' Dirty Bastard" or simply "ODB". He was one of the founding members of the hip hop hip hop music group Wu-Tang Clan.
Ol' Dirty Bastard simultaneously brought a measure of humor and a touch of the absurd to the Wu-Tang Clan. Often noted for his unusual microphone technique (critic Steve Huey writes of Jones' "outrageously profane, free-associative free association rhymes" delivered "in a distinctive half-rapped, half-sung style"), Jones' stage name came from a 1980 kung fu film entitled Ol' Dirty and the Bastard, the relevance of which was articulated by Method Man's assertion that there was "no father" to Jones' style.
After establishing the Wu-Tang Clan, Ol' Dirty Bastard went on to a successful solo career. However, his professional success was hampered by erratic personal behavior and frequent legal troubles, including incarceration. He died in late 2004 of an accidental drug overdose, two days before his 36th birthday.
Early life and career
Russell Tyrone Jones was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1968
The evening following the traffic accident, Jones rushed on-stage unexpectedly as Shawn Colvin took the stage to give her acceptance speech for "Song of the Year Grammy Award for Song of the Year " at the Grammy Awards Grammy Awards of 1998 , and began complaining that he had recently purchased expensive clothes in anticipation of winning the "Best Rap Album Grammy Award for Best Rap Album " award that he lost to Puff Daddy. As Colvin took the stage to a round of applause, he implored the audience, "Please calm down, the music and everything. It's nice that I went and bought me an outfit today that costed a lot of money today, you know what I mean? 'Cause I figured that Wu-Tang was gonna win. I don't know how you all see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu-Tang is for the children. We teach the children. You know what I mean? Puffy is good, but Wu-Tang is the best, Okay? I want you all to know that this is Ol' Dirty Bastard, and I love you all. Peace!" His bizarre on-stage antics were widely reported in the mainstream media.
In April 1998, he announced his new stage name, Big Baby Jesus (the first of many alternate stage names), but was never able to give a coherent explanation for the very brief switch.
During the 1998 Video Music Awards, Jones performed "Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)" Ghetto_Supastar_(That_Is_What_You_Are) onstage with Pras, Mya, and in this case, Wyclef Jean. Jones held a bottle in a paper bag onstage, and during his appearance, his lyrics were arguably slurred. At the end of the performance, Jones nearly lost his life as he stood in point-blank range of the pyrotechnic cannons. Pras was lucky enough to move him out of the way at the last second.
In 1999, he found time to release Nigga Please between jail sentences, which received much success and was even more bizarrely warped than his debut. This release included the single "Got Your Money" which became extremely successful in the US and elsewhere; it was produced by The Neptunes, and its success would serve as one of the production group's main stepping stones to the super-stardom they would later achieve. As well as the Neptunes, the single also put singer Kelis, who sang the chorus, on the map; she went on to have a successful solo career.
During the same period, Jones was paid US$30,000 to appear on Insane Clown Posse's 1999 album The Amazing Jeckel Brothers. Completing his track in two days, his recording consisted of him rambling about "bitches." Insane Clown Posse re-recorded the track and reedited Jones' vocals in order to form four rhymes out of his rambling, giving the song the title "Bitches".
In 2001, with Jones again in jail for crack cocaine possession, his record company Elektra Records made the decision to release a greatest hits album (despite there being only two albums in Ol' Dirty Bastard's back catalog) in order to both end their contract with the unreliable, troubled artist as well as make some money off the publicity generated by his legal troubles. After the contract with Elektra was terminated, the label D-3 records released the album The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones in 2002, composed of tracks put together without Jones's input, using the vocals he had recorded with hypewoman Sic-wif-it (Salome), DJ extrodinaire Organix (Eden), and the high- profile lyricist T-Time (Tamara) prior to his capture by authorities. The label recruited many guests including several Wu-Tang Clan affiliates, No Limit Records artist C-Murder, and Insane Clown Posse. However, the album was critically panned and sales were poor.
The year 2003 brought a change in the life of Ol' Dirty Bastard however. The day he was released from prison, with Mariah Carey and Damon Dash by his side, Jones signed a contract with Roc-A-Fella Records, and began a new chapter in his life. Living at his mother's home under house arrest and with a court-ordered probation hanging over his head, he managed to star in a VH1 special, Inside Out: Ol' Dirty Bastard Life on Parole. He also managed to record a new album A Son Unique , originally scheduled to be released through Dame Dash Music Group in 2004; it since been shelved indefinitely.
The members of the Wu-Tang clan rapped under several personae. Ol' Dirty Bastard took his stage name from the 1980 Meng-Hwa Ho film (Guai zhao ruan pi she, also known as Ol' Dirty Kung Fu or Ol' Dirty & the Bastard). Some of Ol' Dirty Bastard's recurring aliases were Dirt McGirt, O.D.B., Osirus, Big Baby Jesus, Dirt Dog, Ason Jones, and Ason Unique.
In 1993, Ol' Dirty Bastard was convicted of second degree assault
This criminal record was commented on by Chris Rock in his 1999 spoken word song, "No *** (In the Champagne Room)", with Rock asserting that "Ol' Dirty Bastard couldn't've possibly committed all those crimes."
Ol' Dirty Bastard entered rehab Substance-abuse rehabilitation while still technically a fugitive from the law, but strange behavior during a subsequent court date sent him to jail for a brief period.
In October 2000, he escaped from his court-mandated drug treatment facility and spent one month as a fugitive. During his time on the run, he met with RZA and spent some time in their recording studio. He then appeared onstage at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York swigging a bottle at the record release party for The W, the third Wu-Tang Clan album. In late November 2000 while still on the lam, he was arrested outside a South Philadelphia McDonald's (at 29th and Gray's Ferry Ave.), after he drew a crowd while signing autographs. He spent a couple of days in a Philadelphia jail and was later extradited to New York City. A Manhattan court sentenced him to two to four years incarceration.
Leading up to his early death, Jones's legal troubles and odd behavior made him "something of a folk hero", according to The New Yorker writer Michael Agger. Critic Steve Huey writes that "it was difficult for observers to tell whether Ol' Dirty Bastard's wildly erratic behavior was the result of serious drug problems or genuine mental instability mental illness .
Jones collapsed at approximately 5:29 p.m. on November 13, 2004 (two days before his 36th birthday) at The RZA's recording studio (36 Records LLC on West 34th Street in New York City New York, New York ). He was pronounced dead less than an hour later. His funeral was held at Brooklyn's Christian Cultural Center and drew a crowd of thousands.
The official cause of death was a drug overdose; an autopsy found a lethal mixture of cocaine and the prescription drug Tramadol, a synthetic opiate. The overdose was ruled accidental and witnesses say that Jones complained of chest pain on the day he died.
In November 2009, a video documentary about Ol' Dirty Bastard's life, Dirty: The Official Ol' Dirty Bastard Biography, was released. The documentary features interviews and stories from Wu-Tang members, affiliates, and family members, as well as old interviews and live footage.*1995: Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version
*1999: Nigga Please
*TBA: A Son Unique
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Ol' Dirty Bastard
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