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Ol' Dirty Bastard Dead
By Nolan Strong
Date: 11/12/2004 6:30 pm


Wu-Tang Clan member Ol’ Dirty Bastard passed away today (November 13).

While details are sketchy, sources told that the rapper collapsed and died in a Manhattan recording studio.

Ol' Dirty had complained of chest pains, but the cause of death was not immediatley known.

The rapper was two days shy of reaching his 36th birthday.

An autopsy will be conducted Sunday officials said.

Jones was in 36 Records when he said he was having trouble breathing and collapsed.

An ambulance was summoned to the 5th floor where Jones had collapsed near a pool table.

Paramedics tried, but could not resuscitate the rapper.

"This evening I received a phone call that is every mothers worst dream. My son Russell Jones passed away," ODB's mother Cherry Jones said. "To the public he was known as Ol Dirty Bastard but to me he was known as Rusty."

Mrs. Jones labeled her son the most generous soul on earth and expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support.

"Russell was more then a rapper he was a loving father, brother, uncle and most of all son," Mrs. Jones added.

"All of us in the Roc-A-Fella family are shocked and saddened by the sudden and tragic death of our brother and friend, Russell Jones, Ol' Dirty Bastard," Roc-A-Fella CEO Dame Dash said. "Russell inspired all of us with his spirit, wit, and tremendous heart. He will be missed dearly, and our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go out to his wonderful family. The world has lost a great talent, but we mourn the loss of our friend."

The eight other members of the veteran rap group appeared at The Theater at the Continental Airlines Arena for their first joint East Coast appearance in five years, where Ol' Dirty was scheduled to perform.

Sources said the rapper failed to appear for unknown reasons.

One of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan, the 35-year-old helped lay down the foundation for some of the most influential Hip-Hop in history.

He brought an air of humor to the macho world of rap, yet maintained enough integrity to be taken serious amongst a fickle Hip-Hop audience.

The Brooklyn born rapper was featured on Wu-Tang’s groundbreaking album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

Shortly afterwards, he was shot in the stomach by another rapper during an argument on the street in Brooklyn.

He recovered and released the classic Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, which spawned the hit singles "Brooklyn Zoo" and "Shimmy Shimmy Ya," which powered the album to gold status.

In 1998 the rapper further solidified his place in Hip-Hop history. That year, he rushed out of a recording studio to help save the life of a four-year-old girl who had been hit by a car and was trapped underneath.

The next day he appeared at the Grammy Awards and rushed the stage during Shawn Colvin’s acceptance speech for her Grammy Award winning song “Sunny.”

Dressed in a red suit, the rapper told the crowd that Wu-Tang shouldn’t have lost their Grammy to Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and then uttered the now famous words: “Wu-Tang is for the children.”

In 1998 he was shot again in Brownsville, Brooklyn, after two robbers pushed their way into his girlfriend's apartment. The bandits stole money and jewelry and shot ODB once. The bullet entered his back and went through his body, all superficial wounds.

After being treated in a New York emergency room, he ignored doctor’s warnings and left the hospital.

He was arrested several more times the following year for various charges, including threatening bouncers at the House of Blues in Los Angeles and for lounging on his balcony in the nude in Berlin, Germany. No charges were filed in that case.

Later that year, he was arrested and charged with attempted murder, after police claimed he jumped out of his car and started shooting at them. Those charges were dismissed when the police failed to present credible evidence.

In October of 2000, the rapper was almost finished a stint in rehab when he made a run for it, spending a month as a fugitive, during which time he performed at the Hammerstein Ballroom in front of hundreds of stunned fans.

He left the premise that evening but was captured a short time later in Philadelphia, singing autographs in a McDonald's parking lot.

He was extradited to New York, where he stood trial. In April of 2001, he received a sentence of two to four years in state prison.

After emerging triumphantly from jail and rehab, the rapper inked a deal with Roc-A-Fella Records in May of 2003.

I'm happy to be here,” Ol' Dirty said at the press conference. “I thought I wasn't gonna be able to touch another microphone. I'm happy my eyes are still open."

The rapper also had launched his own clothing line, Dirty Wear.

The news comes as Hip-Hop community was mourning the passing of another rapper, Mac Dre, who was shot to death in Kansas City.

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