Interview with an Ol Dirty Bastard.
March 28, 2002 7:57 PM   Subscribe

Interview with an Ol Dirty Bastard. This is the first interview with ODB I have seen since he was thrown in the slammer. ODB's first two releases were crazy brilliant and full of life. Now he sits in one of the worst prisons around, depressed and unmedicated, for parole violation. Reading this, do you think the court succeeded in breaking his spirit? Is he doomed to flame out when he gets out? Is it wrong that his new cd seems made without his input, and is weak compared to his amazing first two? Would you want to get out of prison and find someone made a book out of your throw off writings? Finally, do you like ODB?
posted by zenhues (28 comments total)
I would encourage anyone who would pounce on ODB in this thread to at least read the article. The guy is no choir boy. He's done some stupid things in his life, but he's not a violent man. And now, he's been broken.

Whatever you think of ODB or his music, a story like this is sad. (Much sadder, I'll add against my better judgement, than that of a 93-year old who finally passes on after a life of success and opulence. Not to detract at all from Uncle Miltie. But this is a real tragedy.)

Great link, znehues.
posted by jpoulos at 8:22 PM on March 28, 2002

If the court has broken his spirit, they did it with his permission. He walked out of rehab, he was smoking crack, he made a plethora of stupid, stupid choices and now he's paying the penalty for them. I'm not sure how much sympathy there can be for someone who has the world lying at his feet, an undeniable talent (whether you like his music or not) and decides that the seedy side of life holds more promise.
posted by Dreama at 8:34 PM on March 28, 2002

The justice system ruins people. I hope this isn't the first you learned of it. Oh, rape too. That too. For some. ODB was awesome.

Nobody is prepared to face the silliness of our concept of justice. We'll continue to lock people up and forget about them, we'll continue to harm our own people. UNTIL HAMMAS BUSTS THEM OUT.

I wonder if he has an opinion about where punk rock started/who is punk rock, whether sum41/green day are punk rock. Do you have an opinion?? If so, comment in this thread or start another.
posted by Settle at 8:59 PM on March 28, 2002

"It was the drugs," ODB says heavily. "It was the drugs."

That's right. It had nothing to do with ODB. IT's THE DRUGS' FAULT. God damn the Pusher Man!
btw, I'm not pouncing on ODB. His situation is a sad one. Rather I am pouncing on those who wish to ennoble a crack addled narcissist for their own entertainment.
posted by dchase at 9:01 PM on March 28, 2002

Well, I do think he is a violent man, as the article would attest. I do feel his pain though and I wish anybody in his current situation the best. I really wish prison was something that made better people, not imbittered individuals.

Yes, a sad story. However, I would encourage people to blank out his name (just his name and not him) and insert the name(s) of people that they have never met, never will meet and who may never get out. Those who ended up in there, falling from a far lower starting point than ODB, who will start from a far lower point when and if they get out.

Don't get me wrong. Good link to a well written article Zenhues. It is just when I read stuff like this my mind tends to wander toward the forgotten.
posted by lampshade at 9:02 PM on March 28, 2002

Unfortunately, an artistic bent and a fatal attraction to the "seedy side of life" often seem to go together - from Dylan Thomas, to Jim Morrison, to Kurt Cobain (just to pick three off the top of my head), undeniable talents are often marred by addictive behavior. I can't say I appreciated ODB's particular talent, but I do feel sympathy for someone who apparently followed the same path.

(and no, I'm not comparing the relative talents or merits of the three I chose, there are many other examples)
posted by yhbc at 9:06 PM on March 28, 2002

Dreama, how can you be so smug? Do you know what it's like to be addicted to crack? Do you really have any clue at all about this man's struggle? He's "paying the penalty" for a sickness. Great. While we're at it, let's up my grandma and deny her treatment for her lung cancer. After all, everytime she opened a pack of smokes, she was making a stupid, stupid, choice, and now she's "paying the penalty". Oh, wait...It's too late to lock her up. She's dead. Well, that's quite a relief, isn't it. After all, she was just another junkie placing a burden on society.

When will you people get it through your heads that addicts do not respond to imprisonment? Exactly what percentage of this nation's population has to be imprisoned before we get off of our asses and work together to help these people, instead of condemning them?
posted by Optamystic at 9:07 PM on March 28, 2002

I was never a huge fan of Wu-Tang, but ODB did have a certain no-holds-barred directness that I admired. Unfortunately he seems to be on his way to becoming hip-hop's version of Sly Stone, with all the attendant tragedy of wasted talent.

I don't know that it's so much a question of ODB being "broken" by the system as it is a case of the same temptations which affect us all, coupled with the pressures of fame and unending media scrutiny. I'm not saying he shouldn't answer for his misdeeds however, or that we should write him off.
He dosent necessarily have to end up like Sly, artists have come back from far worse lows, David Crosby for instance had been written of as a lost cause by many. If ODB does pull himself together I'll wager the art that comes out of his recovery will be something worth hearing.
posted by jonmc at 9:35 PM on March 28, 2002

yhbc, I would suggest that the" artistic bent and a fatal attraction to the "seedy side of life" is far more the outcome of a type of life and mindset that also contributes to addiction. The "devil on one's back" is the issue. The pitchfork he holds take many forms - substance abuse, violence, artistic ability, despair.

It is one of those jokes where you really have had to be there to understand. At the same time, it is one of those jokes where you should feel satisfied that you don't laugh along with the crowd that is yukking it up.
posted by lampshade at 9:41 PM on March 28, 2002

Compare ODB to Robert Downey, Jr. I have nothing but sympathy for both of them--they are both enormously talented artists who have had really severe drug problems, and have backslid again and again. Addiction is a difficult thing, it's way too facile to blame the addict for not taking responsibility.
Legally, ODB is in a much worse position than Downey because he walked out of rehab--whereas Downey has stayed in rehab (as far as we know). But I don't think race can be ignored, either--black men are much more likely to be screwed over by the American legal system, even when they have done equivalent actions.
Drug addiction should be treated as an illness, not a crime--even when somebody walks away from rehab.
posted by Rebis at 10:53 PM on March 28, 2002

I guess what I'm wondering is this -- how many of you would have sympathy for any other nameless crack addict with thirteen children and a ridiculous bent for getting arrested for drug crimes.

The truth is he's really just another crackmonkey that the system is taking care of. Immense celebrity should not make him a charity case.

Same with Downey, Jr, for that matter.
posted by dogmatic at 11:40 PM on March 28, 2002

Shit. Says right there in the article Diana Ross signed him. He can't be all bad.

He'll be singin' I'm Coming Out in no time at all, all psycho and shit.

Don't show me the article. I don't want to see it. Read it already, I did. I read D-i-a-n-a Ross just fine thanks.
posted by crasspastor at 12:01 AM on March 29, 2002

ODB is one cool cat.
posted by y2karl at 1:40 AM on March 29, 2002

I once saw some show on MTV that showed ODB driving his brand new SUV to pick up his Welfare Check. He was laughing and making quite a joke out of it.

Criminals belong in jail.
posted by punkrockrat at 5:03 AM on March 29, 2002

He was laughing and making quite a joke out of it.

That's probably because it was a joke.
posted by Optamystic at 5:14 AM on March 29, 2002

just another crackmonkey

New MeFi tagline sumbission?
posted by adampsyche at 5:17 AM on March 29, 2002

It seems that most of his trouble comes from being in trouble about being in trouble about being in trouble for taking drugs. If you're American, you're paying a lot of money to keep this guy sitting in a cell, and he probably isn't even close to being dangerous enough to anyone to make it worth his time, your money, and the prison's space.

(For real crackmonkey high jinks, read about the couple who stole the Krispy Kreme truck.)
posted by pracowity at 5:38 AM on March 29, 2002

I have no sympathy for drug users (and I've been one). It's a choice. You make a choice, you deal with the consequences. End of story. Help should be afforded, but it should be limited. If you can screw up and then have everyone feel sorry for you, and make it all better, where does the life-lesson come from? "Oh, I fucked up, but that's OK, it wasn't my fault and, besides, everyone else has cleaned up my mess."
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:27 AM on March 29, 2002

ODB's second album N-word Please is one of the greatest and worst rap albums of all time. I could listen to it on repeat all day for a month and never get tired of it.

The new album is just tracks from his first two albums with guest rappers and new beats. Its completely horrible.

I think most of the allure of ODB is that he has always been completely honest OR completely dishonest with the media to the point where he was blatantly lying. My favorite ODB moment is when he was on TRL and the host asked him what things he's doing for the community. He answered "nothin!"
posted by ejoey at 8:34 AM on March 29, 2002

Wu-Tang is for the children. What fantastic role models.
posted by tomorama at 8:41 AM on March 29, 2002

No, no pity at all for him. Not a lick of it.

He has 13 children he can't take care of, disrespects women, takes no responsibility for his actions, and gets everything he deserves.

No one forced the crack pipe in his mouth, no one forced him to take dust, he did it himself. Let him rot in the bed he made for himself.
posted by aacheson at 8:53 AM on March 29, 2002

I miss Big Baby Jesus.
posted by ColdChef at 8:54 AM on March 29, 2002

For all of you who would denigrate him, it's a shame none of you were there when ODB (on the lam at the time) burst onto the stage at the Hammerstein during the album release concert for The W. I have never, ever seen a reaction like that. It was so fun and funny and poignant that the mix of emotions is difficult to describe.

I tend not to go to hip-hop shows because the music just doesn't translate to a live forum most of the time, but that was undoubtedly the best hip-hop show I have, or ever will, see. He's a talent and, while I understand that it's mainly the fault of his poor decisions, I lament what appears to be the premature end of a truly, if bizarrely, talented man's career.
posted by anildash at 1:09 PM on March 29, 2002

anildash: I wasn't there, but I remember when the Hammerstein incident happened. Legend has it that even some members of Wu-Tang itself didn't know ODB was there until he showed up on stage.
posted by jpoulos at 1:23 PM on March 29, 2002

Loser crackhead with a name. Boo-hoo.
posted by owillis at 2:53 PM on March 29, 2002

How well-reasoned and insightful, owillis. Do you write your own stuff?

It's funny. Yesterday (literally) I noticed I hadn't seen you for a while, and was going to drop you a line. So far today, you've said at least two things that have made me wonder why I missed you.
posted by jpoulos at 3:33 PM on March 29, 2002

It's an o-w original. Sorry, can't feel sorry for people who screw up their own lives.
posted by owillis at 6:33 PM on March 29, 2002

Dreama, how can you be so smug? Do you know what it's like to be addicted to crack? Do you really have any clue at all about this man's struggle? He's "paying the penalty" for a sickness. Great.

No, I don't know what it's like to be addicted to crack because I never picked up a crackpipe to start with -- I made that choice, and the ODB could've made that choice, but he didn't. No one held a gun to his head and said "smoke" and his "sickness" did not compell him to take the first hit. Meanwhile, he's blown every chance he's had to get clean, and he doesn't care. Add to that his other sick choices (aacheson enumerated them well) most of which pre-date his crackhead days, and I'm left without sympathy.

And frankly, comparing a crackhead to a grandma with lung cancer? That's just depraved.
posted by Dreama at 7:01 PM on March 29, 2002

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