NEW YORK — At this year's MTV VMA Radio Forum, a motley crew of artists including Avril Lavigne, Randy "Macho Man" Savage, the Youngbloodz and Papa Roach politicked with radio personalities and mingled with each other.
Highlights of the annual gathering, held the day before the big show, included Sean Paul sliding down a banister and bumping into a smiling Mary J. Blige, and when Chris Rock saw one of his favorite MCs, Dirt McGirt, he took the opportunity to get reacquainted.
"You all right, man?" Chris asked with a light laugh as Dirty began cracking up as well. "If you need anything, just let me know."
"What's going on, man?" Dirty replied with a smile, shaking Rock's hand.
"Everything is lovely. How many days you been out now?" Rock answered with a grin, getting Dirty to laugh even louder. "You know the exact count, too, don't you? Don't say you don't know; they tell you every day."
ODB may not be marking off each day on his calendar, but he has been maximizing his time as free man. He's performed a couple of times, started a clothing line, shot a TV documentary and is negotiating a reality TV series. Of course, the task he's been most steadfast with is recording his next LP.
"I terrorize this sh--," Dirty said rather nonchalantly prior to meeting up with Rock. "The album is going pretty good. It's terrorizing, and I calmed down a little. I'm blending in with my foods. We just working it out, taking it day by day. Taking a hit, plugging it into the archives and just waiting for sh-- to boil. It's a surprise. It's gonna be hot."
"It's all coming into play," Dame Dash said of his Roc-A-Fella signee while making the rounds later with Dirty and Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham. "Dirt does what he does. He's in the studio, his records are retarded, he's giving us all the personality we love, but he's handling his business. I'm proud of him."
Like Dirty's cousin and Wu-Tang Clan groupmate RZA disclosed a few weeks ago (see "ODB's Roc-A-Fella Deal Rocks The Boat For Some Wu Members"), Dash is looking forward to many Roc-A-Fella and Wu-Tang collaborations on the Dirt McGirt LP.
McGirt is also getting plenty of help from people outside of his clique. Swizz Beatz, the Neptunes, Mariah Carey ("We ain't worked yet, but we're getting ready to do it right now; another party joint," Dirty said of Carey), Busta Rhymes and Ludacris have either already laid tracks with McGirt or are about to.
"Working with ODB, what can you say about that man?" Ludacris, who was also at the forum, said of his guest appearance on the still-untitled album. "I love that man!"
Away from the mic and his other ventures, Dirty continues to re-establish himself in society while dealing with being on parole.
"It's going slowly but surely," he said with a smile, displaying a huge gap in the middle of gold teeth. "I'm just doing my thing, living it up, catching up to sh-- that I ain't do the last two or three years. That's about it — living my life, having a good time, ducking [my parole] officer. He's cool, though. Right after my album drops in December or January, I'm going on tour. After my album we're gonna make another Wu-Tang album."