Ol' Dirty Bastard promised he would deliver "the real hip-hop" on his
sophomore solo album, N***a Please a collection of
raunchy rap tunes and self-aggrandizing theme songs due in stores
Tuesday (Sept. 14).
"I'm going my own way," ODB (born Russell T. Jones) said earlier this
year of the new LP. "I'm the direction [of hip-hop]. I'm gonna make
hip-hop what it is."
This follow-up to his Return to the 36 Chambers:
The Dirty Version features the 30-year-old Wu-Tang Clan rapper
offering a new batch of off-the-cuff foul-mouthed phrases and
bits of inflammatory rhetoric over a backdrop that combines
hardcore beats with keyboards, horns and strings.
Most of the risqué subject matter on N***a Please comes
in the form of crass sexual references and profane language, with ODB
using the usual rap lingo to demand sex "or punishment" and cussing up
a storm to accent his points.
"I wanna lock all the bitches down from the north to the east to the
south to the west," he announces on "Cracker Jack"
over background vocals that repeat, "You can't do nuthin'. ... I want
you to suck my lizard. ... I want a different girl every day."
ODB also makes several racial decrees on the album, lashing out
against white people and proclaiming himself "the only black God" on
"Rollin' wit You"
"All you white-ass motherfuckers, y'all can't ever take over. You shut the fuck up," he screams.
The artist spoke of that particular track last week outside a Santa
Monica, Calif., courtroom, where he was to appear to answer charges in
a terrorist-threat case. ODB said the song might sound harsher and
more inclusive than he intended.
"I'm not talking about all white people, just those upper-class
[people] who never stepped foot in the ghetto," he explained.
"Rollin' wit You" features female singers proclaiming, "Jesus, I'm
rollin' with you." Apparently, they're referring to ODB, who last year
announced that he had adopted a new nickname, "Big Baby Jesus." The
song was the first track ODB recorded with producer Irv Gotti, who has
worked with such renowned rappers as Jay-Z and DMX.
"Dirty just goes into the mic room and just starts f---ing screamin',"
Gotti recalled at a New York recording studio Monday. "As a producer,
I'm thinking a song is made a specific way. This dude went in there
and was just f---ing talking. I'm looking at him like, 'What the
f--- is he doing, yo?' But then when he said his rhymes, he had the
whole studio dancing and going crazy. It all came together."
N***a Please also features production work by Flava Hood's Big
Baby, the Neptunes and Wu-Tang Clan mastermind RZA.
Another Gotti-produced track, "I Can't Wait," finds ODB vocalizing
fast and furious over a backdrop of beats and swirling keyboards. The
pace quickens until the rapper sounds as though he's gasping for the
breath in between each "Big Baby Jesus, I can't wait/ Fuck that, I
The album's first single, "Got Your Money"
features a catchy chorus by R&B female singer Kelis and a throbbing bassline.
Meanwhile, ODB spits out such proclamations as "I don't have no
trouble wit'cha fucking me, but I gotta little problem with you not
Another standout is the satiric soul ballad "Good Morning Heartache"
which was performed live on ODB's first-ever solo tour last summer.
On the album version, ODB lets R&B vocalist Lil' Mo carry the melody,
while he mumbles and croons under her vocals.
While The Dirty Version featured guest appearances by several
of ODB's Wu-Tang Clan bandmates and affiliated artists,
N***a Please has relatively few cameos. When he began working
on the album last year, ODB said he planned to collaborate with
Madonna, Gladys Knight and Lauryn Hill on the effort.
Comedian Chris Rock makes an appearance on the opening track,
"Recognize." "You heard my man he ain't on no commercial shit,"
Rock says in the song's introduction. "This is Chris Rock. I'm
chilling with the ODB, so I'm at the wrong place, at the
wrong motherfucking time, with the wrong motherfucking man."
ODB was one of the first members of the nine-man Wu-Tang Clan to
release a solo album after the group rose to fame in the early '90s.
Largely viewed as one of the most revolutionary rap acts of the
decade, Wu-Tang combined a menacing, murky, multilayered hybrid of
beats and piano with lyrics drawn from comic books, gangster and
kung-fu films, Islamic beliefs and street life.
ODB has made more headlines for his legal problems than his music
during much of the past year. The rapper has court cases outstanding
for allegedly stealing tennis shoes, making terrorist threats, wearing
body armor as a convicted violent felon and possessing crack cocaine.
"He's got his issues, but he's a true artist, man," Gotti said.
"You don't know what he's going to do, and rap needs that, man.
Dirty is good, Dirty is good."