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ODB Died of Drug Overdose

Autopsy proves rapper died from mix of cocaine and painkiller

December 15, 2004 12:00 AM ET
An autopsy of rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard reveals his death by heart attack was due to "intoxication by the combined effects of cocaine and [the painkiller] Tramadol," according to Grace Burgess, a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner's office.

Born Russell Jones, O.D.B. died on November 13th after collapsing suddenly in a New York recording studio just days short of his thirty-sixth birthday.

The wild card of the nine-man Wu-Tang Clan, at the time of his death, O.D.B. had completed a two-year prison sentence for a drug possesion and had been working towards his fourth solo album and Roc-A-Fella Records debut. Osirus, an album recorded during the rapper's last six months, will be released January 4th on JC Records, a label recently formed by his mother Cherry Jones and manager Jarred Weisfeld. A reality TV show, Stuck On Dirty, which wrapped filming in the weeks before O.D.B.'s death, will debut on Spike TV in early 2005.

O.D.B. is survived by mother, his wife and a reported thirteen children.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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