Rumors that the FBI have been investigating hip-hop's most wayward and law-flaunting characters have long existed. But following last year's release of official documents concerning the investigations into the murder of The Notorious B.I.G. and "extortionate death threats" against 2Pac, 2012 has presented the Bureau's official file on Ol' Dirty Bastard and his Wu-Tang Clan cronies. Procured by Rich Jones, who used the Freedom Of Information Act to request information on Russell Tyrone Jones (Ol' Dirty's government name, although we're presuming the two Joneses are of no blood relation), the 95-page document opens with paperwork dated from 1999. It goes on to detail not just a bunch of shenanigans where Dirt Dog was present on the scene, but also wider allegations against the entire Clan.
Hive reached out to the publicists of some key Wu-Tang Clan members for comment, but none were able to go on the record in response to the file. That being so, here's a trawl through the document and a summary of the key and often sensational allegations contained within its pages. Although as any good conspiracy theorist would expect, large chunks of the file have been heartily redacted so you'll have to use a large dose of speculation to join up the most heinous dots.
1. The Wu-Tang Clan's Overall Involvement in Drugs, Gun-Running and Murder
Page five of the document concerns a report classified as of "routine" precedence and concerns a claim from a Staten Island police department that "the WTC [Wu-Tang Clan] is heavily involved in the sale of drugs, illegal guns, weapons possession, murder, carjacking and other types of violent crime." However, the detectives who made the allegation also claim that the "WTC was started in 1993" and funded by some presumably nefarious activity (the details are redacted). But as every good rap nerd knows, the Wu's debut single, "Protect Ya Neck," dropped a year before that in 1992.
2. The FBI is Prone to Misspelling Rappers' Names
Just like the Biggie file from last year, which re-christened the rapper as "Big E Small," the FBI often insisted on calling everyone's favorite deceased rap rogue the more formal Old Dirty Bastard, rather than the wilder-sounding Ol' Dirty Bastard. Details, people, details!
3. Wu-Tang Clan Guns Might Be Linked to Murders
The sixth page of the report claims that "the WTC has purchased numerous guns from the Steubenville, Ohio, area." It states that members of the Clan were photographed as present during such sales. Then the kicker: "At least one of these guns purchased in Steubenville, Ohio, by the [redacted] has been identified as the murder weapon in the killing of ROBERT JOHNSON, aka Pooh, on Staten Island, New York on 12/30/97." The report then claims that Johnson was a one-time associate of the Clan who had a dispute with them which resulted in his murder being "ordered by someone within the WTC."
4. Doing Dirt was Rewarded With Record Contracts
According to the FBI, "Once individuals have proved themselves as good and loyal members or associates of the WTC… they are offered record contracts to record Rap type music." It's a claim that at the very least would explain the brief careers of some of the Wu's woeful Killa Beez hangers on like Suga Bang Bang and Shorty Shitstain.
5. More Murder!
Page six of the report -- which we're going to affectionately call the murder log -- also claims that an "enforcer who had shot and possibly killed 5 other individuals" was behind the death of Jerome Estrella, aka Boo Boo. (Ominous-But-Spurious Aside: Before naming himself after an infamous Brooklyn stick-up kid, 50 Cent used to go by the name of Boo Boo.)
6. The Wu-Tang May Have Had Links With the Bloods Gang
The Wu's own internal army is large, but the FBI's report also appears to allege a link between the Clan and the Bloods gang. The statement reads: "According to the Detectives the [redacted] are members of the Bloods Gang and are involved in the drug trafficking business in the Park Hill section of Staten Island." Some of the Wu have referenced Park Hill in rhyme. The report then continues: "It is believed that the [redacted] sometimes carry out enforcement actions for the WTC which include beatings, shootings, and murder." Later on in the report, on page 17, it is suggested that a member of the "FBI task force" put in a request to travel to Allentown, PA "to provide and compare information relating to the drug business of the Bloods street gang and the Wu-Tang Clan."
7. ODB's Shoot-Out With the Cops
A classic ODB jape, the report deals that on 01/15/1999, "Wu-Tang member Russell "Ol' Dirty Bastard" Jones… while in the company of his [redacted] following a car stop in confines of 77 Pet. Brooklyn, N.Y. was involved in shoot out with N.Y.P.D. Police Officers. Jones was charged with Attempted Murder. A Brooklyn Grand Jury failed to indite him." Mercifully, the FBI spelled his name right this time.
8. ODB Rocked Body Armor
Page 13 of the report details an incident in July of 1998 when ODB was the "victim of a gun shot wound received during an alleged Robbery." It continues to say that "Jones advised" the police that "two masked men entered apartment robbed him of jewelry and shot him." Later on, a hand-written note on page 27 seems to suggest that during an interview ODB described the attack as "woke up gun in face, got up fast, wrestled, shots went off." So, possibly, you know, because people were trying to shoot him, the report later states than in February of 1999 ODB was arrested in Los Angeles on the charge of "Possession of Body Armor." The body armor was discovered during a routine search and Dirty was released on $115,000 bail. At this point in his life you probably couldn't blame Ol' Dirt Dog for trying to take a few precautions.
9. Cash Rules
At one point during the FBI's investigation, they confiscated property from ODB that is listed as being "one heat-sealed bag containing $3,200 in U.S. currency." Although frankly that could have just been the accumulated proceeds of Dirt Dog's infamous welfare check runs.
10. Diversify Those Bonds!
While the FBI's report claims that record contracts were the reward for an individual proving themselves as "good and loyal" to the Clan (see point four above), page 20 also admits that RZA's grand enterprise included at least 16 "legitimate businesses" that took in "record companies, record labels, albums, real estate, a car leasing company, a clothing line, and a production company." The report then lists the addresses of many of these businesses, including Wu-Tang Inc., Wise Guy Records, Everglow and the Diggs Leasing Corporation.