Ol' Dirty Bastard's widow Icelene Jones has not been contacted by Rock The Bells, putting the late rapper's "appearance" at the festival's forthcoming summer run in jeopardy. Rock the Bells revealed at its press conference Tuesday (May 14) that it plans to add a new wrinkle to its shows this year by having "original digital performances" of the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard with Wu-Tang Clan and the late Eazy-E with his proteges Bone thugs-n-harmony.
Jones says she has filed a cease and desist against Rock The Bells in order to prohibit the use of ODB's image at Rock The Bells this year. At press time, Jones says that she had not been contacted by Rock The Bells regarding the issue and that she has not spoken to the RZA in about a week.
"I’m the administrator [of ODB’s estate] and the only authority to give anyone permission to do anything like this—any likeness, any music," Icelene Jones says during an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. "They need to come to me. I’m so available. I’m accessible. I’m easy to contact. I just want to make that understood. I’m a nice person. It’s just that people are doing things without my knowledge."
Rock The Bells provided the following statement to HipHopDX: "We are aware of the cease and desist order and will release a more in-depth statement next week. It’s our goal and desire to do this virtual performance the correct way; it’s important for all parties to feel right and good about this, so we are working on it."
Despite her issues with Rock The Bells, Icelene Jones says that she does not want to stop ODB from appearing at the concert series. "I know it’s something the fans would like," says Icelene Jones, who says she heard about ODB's appearance at the festival through the media. "I don’t want to stop anything like that. Bringing him back to life again—it would be a beautiful thing to give the fans what they want. I don’t want control or anything like that. Me and my children should be a part of it. If they really want to do it they really need to come to us and approach us respectfully."
Icelene says she has an issue with Rock The Bells because the festival had been working with ODB's mother, Cherry Jones, to coordinate his appearance at its concerts. But Icelene Jones says that ODB's mother should have put Rock The Bells in touch with her. "She should automatically let them know that [her] daughter-in-law in the is the administrator," Icelene says. Icelene and Cherry Jones went to court in 2004 for control of ODB's estate. It was awarded to Icelene.
There's also a financial component to Icelene's rift with Rock The Bells. ODB's son Young Dirty Bastard said in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX that he and Icelene need to be involved in each stage of the entire process of ODB's appearance at Rock The Bells. "We want all of the control," he says. "I would love to see the contract with the paper on it. The money, that’s big business. We talking about money, that’s capitalization. We definitely want full control and authority over that."
Icelene Jones says she hopes that the issue is resolved, but she says she is willing to file an injunction if needed. "We just want to tie up the loose ends that we can all agree on and have everyone come together and work together to make this happen," she says. "My husband had a wife and children. They need to respect that and that’s all. Any man or any woman would understand that. All they have to do is contact us and we can all work together."
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JUSTIN HUNTE