10 Years After His Death, Do Remember: Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Hippa To Da Hoppa (Audio)
Ten years ago today (November 13, 2004), the world lost a great one in Russell Jones. Best known as the Ol’ Dirty Bastard from the Wu-Tang Clan, the Brooklyn, New York MC/singer was a founding member, along with RZA and GZA, in All In Together Now, the first iteration of the W.T.C.
O.D.B, as he’s popularly known, released two gold albums, 1995’s Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version and 1999’s Nigga Please, both on the now-defunct Elektra label. Additionally, Ol’ Dirty appeared on three group albums while alive, although in a decreasing role following the classic 1993 debut.
Although O.D.B maintained strong sales and mainstream recognition throughout his solo career, many Heads consider his debut LP to be his best, and purest. It is here that Russ had the opportunity to showcase the extensive chemistry he shared with RZA, who produced the bulk of the LP. By Nigga Please, RZA shared tasks with The Neptunes and Irv Gotti, at the opposite end of the sonic spectrum.
Although the ’95 breakthrough is most remembered for hits “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” and “Brooklyn Zoo,” the album’s deep cuts are great illustrations of Dirt McGirt’s originality, and his trajectory as a BK B-Boy. “Hippa To Da Hoppa,” in title, may sound like a nursery rhymish. However, RZA’s chopped down Memphis Funk and Skull Snaps break allowed O.D.B. to break it down in audio, getting free and funky. Unpredictable, improvisational, and unforgettable, this moment shines for the perfect pocket of a true Rap character. The record plays like one of the many All In Together (referenced in the lyrics) routines that the Clan implemented on the major stage in the mid-1990s. Futuristic old school, that makes any Head crave to cram that All In Together Now sound…
Celebrate a missed, true original, and Do Remember: Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Hippa To Da Hoppa”