November 18, 2004

America mourns ODB
By Canyon Cody
Published in The Heights

First Yasir Arafat, now ODB. Russell Jones, aka Ol' Dirty Bastard, aka Big Baby Jesus, aka Dirt McGirt, would have turned 36 years old on Monday, but passed away two days prior. The cause of death remains unclear, but the biggest surprise is that ODB survived this long.

Every time ODB went to jail, he'd come back with a new nickname. In addition to a long list of violent crime convictions, ODB was arrested for shoplifting a pair of $50 sneakers and for being found nude in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in Berlin. He was the first citizen to be arrested under a new law that made it illegal for convicted felons to wear bulletproof vests. During court proceedings, he was scolded by the judge for falling asleep and calling a female attorney a "sperm donor." He was truly an old dirty bastard. May he rest in peace, though he certainly didn't live in peace.

ODB - "Shimmy Shimmy Ya"
What do ODB and the Jesuits at Boston College have in common? They both stand firmly opposed to the use of condoms. "Oh baby, I like it raw," ODB croons repeatedly on the hook to "Shimmy Shimmy Ya." Not surprisingly, ODB left behind quite a legacy. The modern-day Johnny Appleseed fathered at least 13 children, proving to his fans that he didn't just make up stuff in his rhymes - ODB practiced what he preached. That's keeping it real.

Mariah Carey - Fantasy [ft. ODB]
"Man, this girl is totally crazy," ODB must have been thinking to himself while recording with Mariah Carey, who might be the only person more imbalanced than ODB. "Me and Mariah go back like babies with pacifiers," he raps in his characteristic sloppy drawl. ODB was the best hip-hop cartoon since Flavor Flav; who else would jump on stage at the Grammy's to complain that Wu-Tang should have won instead?

ODB - "Got Your Money" [ft. Kelis]

ODB made his name as the eccentric member of the Wu-Tang Clan, but his biggest hit as a solo artist featured a radio-friendly beat produced by Pharrel Williams of the Neptunes and a catchy hook sung by Kelis. No one seemed to give ODB the memo that this was supposed to be his tame PG-13 TRL hit. He dedicates his biggest moment in the spotlight to "all the pretty girls, and the ugly girls too, cuz you pretty to me anyways, baby." There's an odd sensitivity to ODB, who was just a gentle Big Baby Jesus.

Pras - Ghetto Superstar [ft. ODB and Mya]
This track from the Bullworth soundtrack features ODB imagining himself as a U.S. senator walking the streets of the ghetto. ODB's ADD makes it hard for him to pay attention long enough to sustain a story for an entire verse. Trying to follow a logical path in ODB's narrative is nearly impossible, but his heart was always in the right place.

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