Wu-Tang Clan member Ol’ Dirty Bastard died 10 years ago today.
RZA says Dirty inspired a generation and was a truly unique personality in Hip Hop music.
“I think as a rapper, if you look at Hip Hop before him and Hip Hop after him, you’ll see that he inspired a generation,” he said in explaining ODB’s importance. “But the way that Dirty put his album together, it took barriers out of people’s heads. I remember Busta [Rhymes] telling me that. And if you look at the success of Elektra and a lot of the artists that came through that system—whether it was Missy [Elliot], Buss, Neptunes and you could keep going on… We lost Dirty physically 10 years ago, but we lost him mentally a little earlier than that, and that turning point things changed for Hip Hop, in a sense. His strength, his aggression, his audacity, his expression of freedom was needed for Hip Hop culture. It was needed for America.“
Raekwon explained Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s impact as a businessman and how his style opened the doors for others who wanted to be outlandish but still be accepted by the music industry.
“He’d spit the dirtiest, stinkin’ lyrics at you that’s official,” Rae said. “That kinda opened up the door for other artists with the same kind of personality to be accepted in the business and in the industry because of how he got down… When you think of a character like an Ol’ Dirty Bastard, you think of a diabolical lyrical nigga, like a Biz Markie, a Flava Flav or somebody who was so effective in Hip Hop that his name will always be around and you’ll never get a duplicate like that. You may get brothers that may seem a little relatable but you’ll never get another Ol’ Dirty Bastard. That’s what makes him authentic in this hip-hop game.”
The LOX’s Sheek Louch remembers Dirty by his only encounter with him, one that was very memorable to him.
“I met Dirty one time in L.A. and he was leaving; he came up to us and told us that he was a big fan,” he recalled. “I remember he had on Adidas sweats with the Kangol on. I remember that shit. He was like, “Yo, y’all niggas is dope.” Other than that I never really hung out with him like that.”
Aside from the above mentioned, XXL spoke with Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, Cappadonna, Killah Priest, Allah Mathematics, Styles P and Jadakiss. Read the full piece here.