Rapper ODB dies in recording studio

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

The rapper ODB, known for his wild life and endless brushes with the law, has collapsed and died in the recording studio. He was 35.

The rapper ODB, known for his wild life and endless brushes with the law, has collapsed and died in the recording studio. He was 35.

ODB - Ol' Dirty Bastard - complained of chest pains before collapsing in the New York studio on Saturday and died before paramedics arrived. While an official cause of death has not yet been given, the rapper had recently completed a prison sentence for drug possession and absconding from a rehabilitation clinic.

The rapper, whose real name was Russell Jones but who was also nicknamed Dirt McGirt and Big Baby Jesus, was a founding member of the seminal Nineties rap group the Wu-Tang Clan. He was known for an unorthodox delivery in which he alternately slurred his words and spoke them at a frantic speed.

"Russell inspired all of us with his spirit, wit, and tremendous heart," said Damon Dash, the founder of Roc-A-Fella records, who signed ODB after his release from prison in 2003. "The world has lost a great talent, but we mourn the loss of our friend."

ODB lived his life in the headlines. In 1998 he went on stage uninvited at the Grammy awards, apparently upset over losing the best rap album award to P Diddy, and took a microphone from the singer Shawn Colvin as she accepted an award. He complained that he had spent a lot of money on new clothes because he thought he was going to win. He later apologised.

He was wounded in shootings and arrested on a list of charges, including menacing security officers, illegally possessing body armour, driving with a suspended licence, shoplifting and threatening a former girlfriend.

In 2000, after fleeing a court-ordered stay in a California rehabilitation centre, he went on the run for a month until he was found in New York performing with his group.

Comments