Ol' Dirty Bastard

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About Ol' Dirty Bastard

Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s name derives from his avowal that there was “no father to his style.” The Wu-Tang Clan founding member, born Russell Jones in Brooklyn in 1968, demonstrates his raw crooning and absurdist lyrics on “Shimmy Shimmy Ya,” whose backward vocals exemplify the nonconformism that made him the Wu-Tang’s X factor. ODB’s off-kilter presence shines on Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) tracks like “Protect Ya Neck” and “Da Mystery of Chessboxin’,” where he offset the Wu’s laser-sharp lyrics with genre-bending vocal histrionics and unorthodox cadences. He did more of the same on his debut solo album, 1995’s Return to the 36 Chambers, which represents the most outlandish chamber in the Wu-Tang universe. His releases were infrequent after that, but he still dropped occasional moments like 1999’s Dolemite-referencing “Got Your Money” with Kelis, produced by The Neptunes. Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s life was cut tragically short in 2004, but his irreverent, raunchy lyrics and elongated vocal runs have made him one of rap’s most genuinely inimitable talents.

Brooklyn, NY, United States
November 15, 1968
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