O.D.B. Steps Into The Booth & Blows Pharrell’s Mind In This Throwback Footage (Video)
In 2003, the Neptunes released a compilation album called Clones, which sported appearances from Busta Rhymes, Clipse, Nas, Snoop Dogg, and more. Though perhaps best known as housing Pharrell’s single “Frontin’,” Clones is also where Heads can find one of the final recordings from O.D.B., the Wu-Tang Clan MC who passed away just over a year later. The Grammy-nominated Big Baby Jesus (as he was fondly nicknamed) had not released a solo LP since 1999’s N***a Please, and although he finished recording a follow up – A Son Unique – the project would never see the light of day. As such, his contribution to a Neptunes album at the peak of Pharrell and Chad Hugo’s dominance was a celebratory affair. So much so, a camera crew was present during the recording, and some of that footage has found a permanent home online.
“Pop Shit” featured Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s unmistakable vocal presence and incorporated some of Pharrell’s signature singing style. An unbridled party record filled with references to getting high and getting away with wild escapades, the song in many ways is the embodiment of who O.D.B. was as an artist – uncut, raw, and liable to get you insanely amped up. Beyond his massive presence on the recording, Dirt McGirt’s energy in the studio at the time of the song’s recording was enough to make Pharrell geek out. In a clip from a Vh1 program documenting Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s life on parole, The Neptunes can be seen in the studio laying down the track with their featured guest. “I need that ‘wow’ shit,” P tells O.D.B. at one point before suggesting that he try to sing something. It’s at that point when Dirty says “I’ll do it, but I want your touch on it, man.” P ain’t having it, and rebuffs O.D.B., explaining he wants O.D.B. to sing on the intro to the song. Dirt is clearly outside of his comfort zone, but takes up the challenge head on – and leaves the entire studio entourage wired.
Bonus Beat: Heads can see Ol’ Dirty Bastard performing “Pop Shit” live in this undated footage – likely one of the late icon’s final solo performances.