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Wu Tang Rapper Dies At 35

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Family member and friends paid tribute to Wu Tang Clan rapper Ol Dirty Bastard (ODB) this week, after the 35 year old hip hop star collapsed and died in a recording studio.

His father William Jones described him as a jokester recalling family gatherings in his youth, "All the rest of them could sing but Dirty couldn't sing, so he would do something to make everybody laugh. He was a good kid (Yahoo). ODB''s mother told reporters he was "the most generous soul on Earth' while Fellow Wu-Tang member Cappadonna paid tribute to his presence.

He died completing work on his upcoming artist album Osirus, which record label Sureshot confirmed this week will still be released at the end of December. The posthumous release will be 12 years after ODB first found fame as one of the founder members of East Coast rappers Wu Tang Clan, who achieved worldwide success with their debut album "Enter the Wu-Tang 36 Chambers". Hailing from the New York borough of Staten Island the collective avoided being linked to the rap wars that took the life of Biggie Smalls and Tupac though according to Village Voice journalist Frank Owen were actually more dangerous.

Writing in his seminal book on 90s New York nightlife Clubland Confidential, Owen referred to the clan as "the notoriously violent collective ("the nearest thing hip hop has to an organized crime family", according to one writer)', striking chords with the assessment of OBD's cousin RZA, who co-founded the group with other cousin Gary Grice (GZA).

"A lot of the rappers acting so tough and wanting to be gangstas are marsh mellows, if you see them they're not the same person you see on TV," RZA told Skrufff in 2002. "I remember when Wu Tang Clan used to come to the clubs; all those same artists would hide, because they were really scared," he said.

However, RZA also demonstrated a self-awareness that appears to have been absent from ODB, admitting, "None of us are so tough. We all got a certain fear."