Pras Details How O.D.B. Getting Lost Led To His Biggest Hit (Video)
The highest charting single of O.D.B.’s Hip-Hop career was not his own. The Brooklyn, New York MC/singer hit the charts with Wu-Tang Clan and his solo works. He would appear on the Bad Boy Remix to Mariah Carey’s #1 single “Fantasy,” but not on the chart-topping version.
Instead, it was Pras’ “Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)” that would deliver Russell Jones’ his highest marks. The Grammy-nominated song (also featuring Mya) appeared both on Pras’ solo debut of the same name, and the Bulworth soundtrack.
According to the Fugees co-founder, Ol’ Dirty Bastard was never intended to be on the RuffHouse Records hit. Instead, a very strange recording studio situation prompted Wu-Tang and Fugees to cross paths in a way that popular music loved.
“It was one of those situations where [Ol’ Dirty Bastard] was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” recalls Pras to Vlad TV of the late 1990s recording. “[He] heard the beat, fell in love with it, was like, ‘Let me jump on it.'”
“He walked [into] my [studio] session by mistake,” says the New Jersey native who had just released multi-platinum selling The Score by The Fugees in 1996. “I don’t know if he was drunk, but I know he he didn’t know the state he was in—meaning, in the USA, he thought that he was in a different state. I was in California; he thought he was in New York City. I don’t know if he was drunk. I don’t know if he was tired. I can’t say—God bless his soul, by the way.” O.D.B., who once urinated on an LL Cool J album plaque at Chung King Studios, appeared confused. “He thought my session was his session.”
“I was sitting there trying to figure out what was going on. I’m being respectful; he’s a fellow artist. I don’t have no beef with him. [I] was trying to get him [to leave] in the nicest way,” admits Pras, who had just won “Best Rap Album” honors at the ’97 Grammy awards. The artist was perplexed that Ol’ Dirty had appeared to mistake L.A.’s Enterprise Studios for Times Square’s Unique Studios.
As the Elektra Records artist tried to make sense of the situation, he heard the song, produced by Wyclef Jean and Jerry “Wonda” Duplesis. “The music is looped in the background. It’s being played. Finally, he’s like, ‘What’s that? […] This shit’s hot; I need to get on this.”
Pras said he just was out to humor the MC. “I’m [thinking] I’m gonna erase this shit when it’s all said and done. Shit turned out hot! We kept it.” Pras adds that he recalls O.D.B. doing his contributions in one take, with some methodology to his approach.
Ghetto Supastar would debut at #55. Pras would follow the effort up in 2055, with Win Lose or Draw. He has not released an album since.