Precinct 333

Saturday, November 13, 2004

O'l Dirty Bastard -- Dead At 35

Rapper O.D.B., AKA Ol' Dirty Bastard AKA Dirt McGirt AKA Big Baby Jesus AKA Russell Jones, died today in New York of an apparant heart attack. He was in the studio at the time of his death, working on a comeback album following his release from prison last year on charges of drug possession and escaping a drug treatment facility.

O.D.B. was among the founders of the Wu-Tang Clan, a group of rappers who helped change the face of the genre in the early 1990s. But for all his talent and influence, his erratic behavior and drug use wil will be the things he is most remembered for. O.D.B. is known to have fathered at least a dozen children, by a multitude of women, making him yet another poster child for male irresponsibility among the younger generation. And it may yet be determined that his high-flying lifestyle was the cause of his death.

And yet, I cannot help but be touched by one quote from the AP article announcing his death.
His mother, Cherry Jones, said she received the news of her son's death in a phone call, which she called "every mother's worst dream.''

"To the public he was known as Old Dirty Bastard, but to me he was known as Rusty. The kindest most generous soul on earth,'' her statement said. "Russell was more than a rapper, he was a loving father, brother, uncle, and most of all, son.''
I just wish that the young people who idolize him would realize that the "live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse" lifestyle advocated by so many of the "gangstas" in the entertainment industry impacts lot just the "playas", but also those who love them. No mother should have to bury her child, and certainly not because of a self-destructive hedonistic lifestyle.


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