O.D.B. Put The “Free” In Freestyle In This 1995 Outburst (Audio)
Twenty years ago this week, O.D.B. was waiting to see if he would win the Grammy for “Best Rap Album.” The 1995 debut, Return To The 36 Chambers (The Dirty Version) would ultimately lose to Naughty By Nature’s Poverty’s Paradise, but the unconventional Brooklyn, New York MC was clearly reaching the mainstream. The Wu-Tang Clan wild child was living the good life, and compromising to no one.
In ’95, sometime presumably before the Grammy nominations came in, Ol’ Dirty Bastard was promoting his Elektra Records, RZA-produced debut and went to London, England. There, the founding member of All In Together Now (the precursor to Wu) would hit Tim Westwood’s radio show. Joined by then-protege Buddha Monk (who is still making music today, by the way), O.D.B. hopped on beats belonging to KRS-One, Raekwon, and others and got loose. Heads can hear bits and pieces of Ol’ Dirty verses (including “Brooklyn Zoo”) in the freestyle that transpires—along with grunting, groaning, and a fair share of mumbling. As Monk gets his moment in, Ol’ Dirty showed his apathy towards what most MCs would do in the booth. Instead, he just unapologetically represented himself, and his style.
In a Rap year remembered for its grittiness, this one particular moment is pure ruggedness.