This I Believe
As the award for the “Song of the Year” was being presented at the 1998 Grammy Awards, Ol’ Dirty Bastard rushed the stage wearing a velvet robe grabbing the microphone and claiming that his rap group the Wu-Tang Clan deserved the award for Best Rap Album and not Puff Daddy. As the crowd was shocked in confusion, a drunken O.D.B declared “he had spent a lot of money on his outfit because he thought Wu-Tang would win”. A stuttering O.D.B ended his rant by saying “Wu-Tang is for the children, we teach the children. Puffy is good, but Wu-Tang is the best. I want you all to know that this is ODB, and I love you all. Peace!” as he was taken off stage by security. After that bizarre onstage antic I became very interested in Ol’ Dirty. Ol’ Dirty Bastard never followed any guidelines or led a life people wanted him too. He did what he wanted and when he wanted. He was untraditional about everything in his life. He did not care what people said or thought about him he was just himself. I believe that being non-traditonal is the way to live life.
Born Russell Jones in 1968, Ol’ Dirty became a mainstream figure in hip-hop music through the popularity of his Wu-Tang Clan rap group. Although I enjoy the group’s music, Ol’ Dirty’s slurred, off beat, bizzarre rap style stands out among his peers. His innovative style made me view him in a different, more interesting way. Ol’ Dirty once helped save a girl trapped under a car outside of his studio. He visited that girl under a false name at the hospital until the media noticed him. O.D.B, with MTV cameras by his side, took two of his thirteen children by limousine to a New York State welfare office to pick up his welfare check while his latest album was still in the top ten of the US charts. The entire incident was filmed by an MTV camera crew and was broadcast nationwide. When asked why he was getting welfare despite being very wealthy he yelled to cameras, “It’s free money! Who doesn’t love free money!”. In July 1998 he was arrested for shoplifting a pair of $50 shoes in Virginia Beach although he was carrying close to $500 at the time. In 1999, he was arrested with marijuana and 20 vials of crack on him. After his arrest, O.D.B reportedly asked the police to “make the rocks disappear”. During a court hearing, he once called a female prosecutor a “sperm donor” and then fell asleep later on. Ol’ Dirty Bastard continued to make music and live life without a care. When I went to see the Wu Tang Clan in 2004 in Boston I was ecstatic. The entire group did not show up but O.D.B was there swinging a bottle of champagne on stage and being his usual self. I first hand got to witness the performance of the most unique person I have ever heard about. I do not think that some of the things Ol’ Dirty did were all okay but I do think they are funny. In his non traditional, alternative lifestyle Ol’ Dirty constantly enjoyed himself. I believe we she should all do that. When O.D.B died of a drug overdose in November of 2004 not many were surprised. But many were saddened at the lost of a character like Ol’ Dirty Bastard. I feel this non-traditional lifestyle he led made his life more enjoyable and more free. But one impression he left everyone with was to live life how you want to live.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.