Ol’ Dirty Bastard (a.k.a. Russell Jones) was freed today after
spending more than two years incarcerated on drug charges. On his
first day of freedom, ODB (who has also gone by the handle Big Baby
Jesus and Osiris) appeared at a New York City press conference to
announce his signing with Roc-A-Fella records, the obligatory new
line of clothes and the assumption of yet another identity: Dirt
McGirt. Roc-A-Fella CEO Damon Dash and Mariah Carey were present
along with ODB’s mother, wife and his crew the Brooklyn Zoo.
“Any opportunity I see, when I see someone who’s talented and
wants to get money, I could care less what anybody says about
them,” Dash said. “That’s why I chose Ol’ Dirty Bastard. He just
touched the pavement. I think he’s ready to go into the store and
make some hits. He’s entertained us on every level. All we want to
do at the Roc is give him love and help him get where he’s got to
For his part, ODB expressed relief at the end of his
incarceration, during which the rapper had been placed on suicide
watch at one point. “The first thing I wanted to do was give my
mother a hug,” O.D.B. said. “It was hell out there. But so what, I
feel good. I’m happy to be here. I’m happy my eyes are open still.
I’m all right physically and mentally. I feel good.”
The rapper was sentenced in July 2001, but had been detained for
months prior to that after escaping a court-ordered drug treatment
facility and briefly going on the lam. He was officially paroled
earlier this year but transferred to a psych hospital. “They was
trying to lock me in, ’cause I was running around being Dirt
McGirt,” he said. “They said, ‘Yo, we don’t know about this one cat
here. He seems a little crazy.’ I had to hit ’em with some Dirt
McGirt wear and they let me go.”
Though no concrete recording plans have been announced, O.D.B.
is expected to hit the studio in the near future, citing Carey, 50
Cent and Jay-Z as some of the artists he’d like to bring onboard.
“Since I’ve been gone, it got like radical and crazy, know what I’m
saying?” he said. “Scared me a little. Sitting in the cell,
watching my niggaz doing their thing. The music, they got it going
on. I just want to jump in there like a swimming pool.”
He also suggested that he’d soon be rejoining the Wu-Tang Clan
for their next album. “Y’all know how Wu-Tang get down,” he said.
“We gets down when we gets down. We gonna get you back to the
dinosaur days. So just look for it.”
A VH1 special, On Parole With O.D.B., is also in the