Reflections on Ol' Dirty Bastard Ten Years Later: ODB as a Microcosm of American Inequality

November 19, 2014 8:41 PM

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Ten years from last Thursday, the American rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard (ODB), died of a drug overdose. This past Saturday would have been his 46th birthday. The Brooklyn-born rapper was a man of many nicknames (Osirus, Dirt Dog, Dirt McGirt, Big Baby Jesus, Ason, Ason Unique) but was known primarily as Ol' Dirty Bastard, because his style was "old school," his lifestyle was "always dirty," and "there was no father to his style."

ODB's posthumous legacy pales in comparison to other MCs who died prematurely (e.g. Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac). He did not have the lyrical prowess of his contemporaries. Although he was critical to the success of the Wu-Tang Clan, the innovative hip-hop collective that helped augment an already exi...

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