Six years ago, music lost one of its most memorable characters: Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
Dirty passed away on November 13, 2004, just days before his 36th birthday, but he left behind an inimitable legacy both as a solo MC and an irreplaceable member of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Today his son Boy Jones, who also goes by Young Dirty Bastard, works hard to uphold his late father’s legacy, whether it’s through his unruly braids or stepping in to rip “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” with the Wu at Rock The Bells. When MTV News caught up with the budding rapper to ask how he commemorates his father’s passing, the young Jones told us it’s all about family.
“It’s good to get family together,” he said Saturday. “We wish we could do that more throughout the year … but it’s still beautiful on days like this.”
While Dirt McGirt’s unhinged energy and wobbly flow still resonates with fans, Jones said his favorite memory of the fallen hip-hop great has nothing to do with his music.
“Him eating clams with hot sauce,” he pegged as his most treasured memory. “That’s probably the first time I had clams in my life. That’s something that I do on the regular. I just went to [a] sushi bar last night.”
Invoking Dirty’s memory is a regular thing for Boy Jones, who said he reminds people of his father “all the time.”
“It’s in my blood, it’s supposed to be like that,” he said. However, he did admit that there is added pressure to being a second-generation hip-hop artist and heir to Dirty’s game-changing style. “Some people be just hating a lot. [Saying] ’He’s not like Dirty … He’s trying too hard to be like Dirty.’ ” Jones countered with, “It’s in my blood … he’s my pops.”
Young Dirty also has the same philosophy about government assistance as his pops, who famously let MTV tag along while he received food-stamp benefits in a limo during a 1995 interview. The rising MC said he’s working on a movie called “Food Stamp Celebrity” and a mixtape with DJ Absolut of the same title.
“Basically everybody that I know is on food stamps, and I’m on food stamps, and basically we all trying to be a celebrity,” he explained of the flick. “I’m gonna be a celebrity and I’m gonna be on food stamps at the same time.”
He added that his reliance on EBT benefits stems from a need to make sure food is always on the table, even if he’s low on cash.
“Food stamp really save people life,” he said. “Without food stamps, you be waiting on some checks from one of your cousins, and they move slow with the check, and [in the meantime] food stamps will really save your life.”
In addition to “Food Stamp Celebrity,” Jones said he’s also crafting a mixtape called Certified Crack with DJ Symphony, who spins for the MC’s Wu uncle Raekwon.
Despite mixtape titles that could be dubbed gimmicky, the 21-year-old spitter maintains he can crank out a range of musical styles that both club-goers and scholars can appreciate.
“I can go from … making Soulja Boy music to making Nas music. I’m a real artist, I don’t play,” he said. “I ain’t gonna front, I don’t like Soulja Boy at all. But the music he’s putting out there, I see little children vibing off of it. ’Cause you make the children dance, then that’s music.”
And of course, as Dirty once reminded us (and Shawn Colvin), Wu-Tang is for the children . Stage-crashing, jail time and general rowdiness aside, the younger Jones said he wants fans to know that, ultimately, Dirty was just trying to shake up the status quo.
“He was a person that was trying to change the world, and he had a different view but nobody really understood it. If he would have had just a little more time I think it would have happened,” Jones said, adding that his father wanted to launch his own government and police force. “We all for the people. We all here for change.”
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