ODB's Roc-A-Fella Deal Rocks The Boat For Some Wu Members

Inspectah Deck compares it to fighting on Iraq's side.

ODB has decided to name his latest album after his latest moniker, Dirt McGirt, according to his manager. Dirty is eying an October release date and has been in the lab with Ludacris, the Neptunes, Swizz Beatz and the RZA.

Besides the seven beats he's already completed with Dirty, the RZA has become an integral part of his cousin's LP. You see, during all the fanfare surrounding Dirty's signing to Roc-A-Fella Records a few months ago, one thing was overlooked (see "Ol' Dirty Bastard Now Dirt McGirt, Signs To Roc-A-Fella"). ODB was still under contract to RZA's production company and the Roc-A-Fella deal wouldn't be official until Wu-Tang's main beatmaker approved.

"When he signed to the Roc, I had to sign that paper because he's a Wu-Tang production member," RZA explained. "When he told me that's what he really wanted to do, I sat down with [Roc-A-Fella CEO] Dame Dash and we talked all about it. When we cut the album it's going to be Roc-A-Fella/Wu-Tang."

Even though RZA co-signed on Dirty's efforts with the Roc, some of the other Clan members weren't as receptive to the idea. Raekwon went on New York radio voicing his shock and concern, and in May Inspectah Deck told MTV News he too was leery of the move.

"I haven't been able to sit him down and drill him," Deck said. "A lot of people feel it's a betrayal thing. I would say that too. That's like going to war in Iraq and you be like, 'I don't want to fight for America' and you joining the Iraqis — no disrespect to the Roc. Me, I couldn't have made that move."

"I'm glad Dirty got that deal with Roc-A Fella 'cause it shows we ain't over yet," Method Man said in June. "The only thing [I have] a problem with is him rocking their flag like that, the Roc-A-Fella chain. Dirty is an entity within himself."

RZA feels that by Dirty spreading himself out, both the Clan and the Roc can make history.

"I know some [members of the group] are upset about it," RZA admitted. "They're upset about it based on the egos. To me, this is the best chance we can get. You have an album that ends up with Jay-Z, Meth, Ghostface, Beanie Sigel, Freeway ... mad n---as you never could get on one album. That's how I look at it. We could sit here and talk egos and go back and forth with that sh-- or we can make history. Let's not even play ourselves. [Dame] saw it the same. Let's get it poppin', yo."

RZA described the tracks that he's done thus far for Dirty as being "gutter" with the same feel as Return to the 36 Chambers. Meanwhile, it doesn't look like the rest of the of the Clan will be following through with plans to commemorate their first LP, 1993's Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), with a 10-year anniversary album. RZA said he couldn't speak on it, but Method Man painted a bleak picture for the project.

"Brothers ain't really been in contact with each other," Johnny Blaze said. "Don't let none of them fool you like we talk to each other every day, 'cause we don't. Where we're at right now, a lot of people got a lot of issues they gotta deal with — personal as well as business."

The Clan members' priorities right now seem to be their various solo projects. The RZA will drop his first solo LP as the RZA this winter (he has two as Bobby Digital and one as Prince Rakeem). Meth's LP is slated for this fall, as is Raekwon's. Ghostface Killah is keeping himself hot on mixtapes and has a Def Jam debut due early next year.

And of course Dirty is almost done recording Dirt McGirt, and his VH1 show, "Inside Out: ODB on Parole," premieres Thursday (August 7) at 10 p.m. Among the behind-the-scenes goings on viewers will see are Dirty settling his contract dispute with RZA, working in the studio with Pharrell Williams and visiting his parole officer. Dirty also gives an interview in which he says he felt abandoned by the Clan while in jail.

ODB has scheduled a party for Thursday night at New York's 99 Hudson club, where the public is invited to join him in watching the VH1 show. Afterward, Dirty will celebrate by performing for only the second time since becoming a free man, his manager said.