Join Date: Jun 2006
AHH.com Exclusive Unpublished Interview With: Ol' Dirty Bastard Part 1 of 2
There was no figuring out Olí Dirty Bastard. Was he a wily Hip-Hop jester or a tragically misunderstood apostle of the Wu-Tang Clan? Both scenarios, and all points in between, are debatable, but what is certain is that his deeds were legendary. Whether it be saving a child pinned underneath a car in front of a studio or bumrushing the stage at the 1998 Grammy Awards after Diddy won the award for Best Rap Album [Admit it, the Clan did get jerked], we all watched with equal parts trepidation and amusement.
I was blessed to speak to Dirt McGirt shortly after his release from prison. The good folks at [Elemental Magazine], asked me to interview him for one of their cover stories commemorating, at the time, their pending 50th issue. Dirty was cautious with his answers at first, as he was with the photographer, but as the interview progressed he warmed up and became more revealing. Itís obvious he was a man strong in his convictions. Itís a shame he didnít live to see his career get back on track before he passed away on November 13, 2004. Though an autopsy later found he had a lethal mix of prescribed painkillers and cocaine in his system, his legacy is that of a storied figure in Hip-Hop history. Here is that fateful interview which occurred at Rocawearsís Fashion District offices, sometime in late May, 2003.
AllHipHop.com: Whenís the last time you recorded?
Olí Dirty Bastard: [The] last time I recorded was yesterday. As soon as I got out, I went to the studio the next day.
AllHipHop.com: Were youíre skills rusty at all?
Olí Dirty Bastard: That is my name, Rusty, so I donít know if Iím rusty or not.
AllHipHop.com: Whatís the difference between Dirt McGirt and Olí Dirty?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Itís just new style, old style. Olí Dirty is raw and crazy, rugged, ya know, ghetto. Olí Dirty is the one who makes things crazy in Hip-Hop. I catch all types of peoplesí minds and Dirt McGirt is just the new style. Being able to be on point with the music, how music is made now.
AllHipHop.com: You mentioned earlier youíre not trying to be funny this year?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Yeah, I mean, just trying to get money and s**t. Things thatís funny, I leave to the side. Iím trying to be serious and s**t. ĎCause Wu-Tang is serious. I am the crazy [one]Ömaking people laugh and s**t, out the crew. Maybe this year, I donít know, I just got a serious state of mind right now.
AllHipHop.com: A lot of times your skills on the mic get ignored and people focus on your personality, is that frustrating?
Olí Dirty Bastard: No, itís not. Whatever, you feel me? I donít know if itís annoying. I thought it was all beautiful. Thatís how I look at it.
AllHipHop.com: How is it being be down with Roc-A-Fella?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Itís cool. They alright; they in my corner, so Iím in they corner.
AllHipHop.com: Youíve been gone these last two years, how did they treat you?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Terrible.
AllHipHop.com: Terrible, like worse than the average [inmate]?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Yes.
AllHipHop.com: How did you make it through?
Olí Dirty Bastard: I made it through with a white man. One white man, he just said, ďCome on, let me get you somewhere safe. And let me get you somewhere whereÖya know correction officers [arenít] holding guns and weapons and s**t, where you can get harmed at.Ē The white manís name was Robert, and he said donít worry Iíma help you and he got me out of there. I was in an unsafe place where the government is trying to kill me at, and all kinds of s**t was going on Ė s**t that I donít really need to talk about. Iíll keep it to myself. It donít make no sense talking about it anyway because everybody act like they motherf**kiní blind to the truth. As long as they blind to the truthÖ and I donít see how you can be close to Jesus if you blind to the truthÖ but thatís coolÖanyway, but Iím out man, and Iím just making hits.
AllHipHop.com: It seems like youíve been persecuted more than the average rapper?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Yeah, they picked on me for little, small s**t. They shot up my truck before. Itís just when theyÖI figure when they see Olí Dirty Bastard they think that Iím a ghetto gun slinger [or] some type of bad influence. But Iím not. What I am is just who I am, and thatís it.
AllHipHop.com: A bunch of your incidents have been the result of people coming at you, do you watch your back more closely because of that?
Olí Dirty Bastard: I donít watch my back outside no more. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen. I watch my back inside. Iím trying to stay out of that prison Ďcause that s**t ainít the move. They got orders to kill motherf**kers how they talkiní. Iím just trying to stay away from that way of life.
AllHipHop.com: How do you plan to stay away?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Being sober. Following appointments. Doing etcetera, etcetera.
AllHipHop.com: Are you on any medication at all?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Nah, Iím not on medication.
AllHipHop.com: Howís your family doing?
Olí Dirty Bastard: The family is okay, they cool. Everybodyís cool. Just trying to something right for them once upon a time.
AllHipHop.com: Did they support you while you were away?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Nobody supports Dirty but Dirty. Dirty is just a self-contained unit. And thatís who support Dirty, itís Dirty. And Roc-A-Fella.
AllHipHop.com: What about the Wu?
Olí Dirty Bastard: What about the Wu? If you want to say they support me, then f**k it, [then] say they support me.
AllHipHop.com: Whatís the music youíre making now going to reveal about you?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Basically, itís going to show that I got pizzaz. Itís going to show what the street is about. Itís going to show many things. Itís going to be hot, man. I donít really like to detail the s**t; itís going to be that s**t that n***as missed. Olí Dirty got a voice that people like to hear. Iím the loudmouth of rap. Ya know, they need that s**t. Itís going to be back again.
AllHipHop.com: Is there anything you would have done differently in your career thus far?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Looking back on it, maybe. On some of my songs I was supposed to come calm. Thatís how Iím going to do now, calm and angry.
AllHipHop.com: Whereís the anger coming from?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Just through the vocals. That crazy Olí Dirty Bastard style that people love, just being ODB, period.
AllHipHop.com: Poppa Wu was telling me that you had to go through trials and tribulationsÖ
Olí Dirty Bastard: I just wish I wasnít f**king with them drugs. Thatís the biggest mistake of my life, is drugs. Thatís what kills motherf**kas. When they say drugs kill, they donít play. I donít know about ODíing and s**t like that, but I know that drugs do kill. I just wish I wasnít on drugs back in the day. Drinking, liquor, ya know what Iím saying, Ďcause it changes me. It makes meÖIím a party animal anyway. Iím a party animal when I drink [laughing]. I know how to put myself in tune with any kind of music you put on and just love music. I sing my raps. People love that s**t. Itís a different style. You got Jay-Z, his style. You got Olí Dirty Bastard, his style. You got Snoop Dogg, his style, you got 50 [Cent], his style, and you got Wu-Tang, they styles. I just got that style thatís needed.
AllHipHop.com: So youíre trying to fill a void thatís missing?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Something is missing, definitely. Everything is suave to me now, ya feel me? When you hear Hip-Hop beats, the s**t that makes your head bop and you feel it in your bones. You donít feel it in your bones no more. Because everybody just getting suave. I mean itís cool, but I know when I like to be in the motherf**kin club, and they put on s**t like [starts beat boxing Biz Markieís ďNobody Beats the BizĒ], that s**t make your headÖyou moving in a way that you catching cramps and s**t! Nowadays, they ainít doing that s**t. Everybody just dancing, dancing to party, they just dancing to party, and I noticed that s**t. So thatís where Olí Dirty comes in at. Olí Dirty, ya know, itís likeÖ I donít want to talk about it, man, I just want that flavor to remain the same. I donít want nothing to change. If it change, I want it to change for the better of the future. But if thatís the s**t, I want my s**t to be where n***aís head bop to the s**t.
AllHipHop.com: Is there anybody current that you think still has some of that?
Olí Dirty Bastard: I donít know, man. I ainít hear it yet. Thatís whatís missing. Iím trying to find that producer that has that type of s**t, and itís hard, man. Other than that though, music is good anyway. The music thatís playing is good; I like it. I like how Bad Boy get down for raw, them n***as donít play. And Wu-Tang donít play. Thatís why I joined with Roc-A-Fella. Because Roc-A-fella, they abstract, they the future to me. They got sounds that my ears like to hear. I love Jay-Zís [work], his s**t is banging. So I said let me connect with these motherf**kers, man, so I can have some banging s**t. ĎCause n***as know Wu-Tang, so I saw, what if I take Wu-Tang and put it with Roc-A-Fella? That s**t would probably really slam. Thatís what I did man.
AllHipHop.com: Do you still feel like you can trust a label ever since Elektra released you?
Olí Dirty Bastard: I donít know if they turned they back on me. I donít know what the f**k happened. What happened, happened. Whatever. ODB can walk up in any motherf**kiní offices and get a motherf**kiní job. But I choose Roc-A-fella because they got it going on and s**t.
AllHipHop.com: At this point, do you feel as comfortable now in the direction your career is about to head?
Olí Dirty Bastard: I feel as comfortable as I can get. N***as like me, we struggle and s**t, for this money and s**t. Like Wu-Tang, Wu-Tang is the scientists of rap. Thereís nothing Wu-Tang canít break down. Thereís no wall Wu-Tang canít break down. I donít know, itís like the people recognize itÖ I donít know man some of these companies, man, they bug out on me and s**t. They do s**t halfway instead of doing it the full way. Thatís it, man.
AllHipHop.com: So is Roc-A-Fella going to be able to do the job?
Olí Dirty Bastard: I hope so.
AllHipHop.com: How are your children doing?
Olí Dirty Bastard: I keep in contact with them.
AllHipHop.com: How much are they a part of your life?
Olí Dirty Bastard: A lot of it, thatís it.
AllHipHop.com: Do you try to provide for them?
Olí Dirty Bastard: Yeah.