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The 10 Best Ol’ Dirty Bastard Songs

Ol’ Dirty Bastard in Queens in April 1995, at the “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” video shoot. Photo by Al Pereira.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard, also known as Russell Tyree Jones, was a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan and one of the most colorful personalities to ever emerge in the world of hip-hop. Known for his erraticism and eclectic off-the-cuff style, the Dirt Dog brought an element of insanity to already tough music of Wu-Tang, and will forever be remembered for more than just his music.

While some of his songs are hard to listen to due to Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s tendency to devolve into drug-fueled rants, in his shining moments he had some clever lyrics and catchy hooks. His music also has a real edge to it that makes for an interesting listen, whether or not it sounds good.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard had a short career that ended abruptly with his overdose death in November 2004, just a couple of days before the rapper’s 36th birthday.

There were many notorious moments in ODB’s life, including the time in 1995 when an MTV documentary depicted him stepping out of a limousine to collect a $375 welfare check in New York City. In 1998, his legendary status was furthered when he stepped on stage at the Grammy Awards to proclaim “Wu-Tang is for the children”.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard appeared on a number of iconic Wu-Tang Clan songs during his career, including several tracks on their debut Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1995) and Wu-Tang Forever (1997). He also released a few solo albums, including his classic 1995 solo debut Return to the 36 Chambers. Some of his strongest performances also came when he featured on songs with other artists who were not Wu-Tang members.

We’ve dug through the bizarre discography of Ol’ Dirty Bastard and pulled out our 10 favorite songs where ODB makes an appearance. See the list below.

10. Wu-Tang Clan – “Reunited” (Wu-Tang Forever, 1997)

9. “Hippa To The Hoppa” (Return to the 36 Chambers, 1995)

8. Mariah Carey ft. Ol’ Dirty Bastard – “Fantasy (Remix)” (1995)

7. “Baby C’mon” (Return to the 36 Chambers, 1995)

6. Pras ft. Mýa & Ol’ Dirty Bastard – “Ghetto Superstar” (Blue Angels, 1998)

5. “Got Your Money” ft. Kelis (N*gga Please, 1999)

4. “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” (Return to the 36 Chambers, 1995)

Also check out the fan-made Ol’ Dirty Bastard / The Muppets mashup video for “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”.

3. Wu-Tang Clan – “Shame On a N*gga” (Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 1993)

2. Busta Rhymes ft. Ol’ Dirty Bastard – “Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check” (1996)

1. “Brooklyn Zoo” (Return to the 36 Chambers, 1995)