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Thursday, November 18, 2004

O.D.B. R.I.P.

On Sunday I heard that the hip-hop singe...umm, artis...er, that Russel Jones, the guy known as O.D.B., Ol' Dirty Bastard, had died.

I never thought too much of O.D.B., nor did I go out of my way to hear his music. "Ghetto Superstar", a work done collectively with Pras from the Fugees and the ever-gorgeous Mya and based on Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers' "Islands in the Stream", was on the charts around the time I was going to clubs, and "Baby I Got Your Money" was hard to avoid a few years back. And I've heard of the Wu-Tang Clan, a band that O.D.B. was one-ninth of and which was the punchline to the hysterical "Race Draft" sketch on Chapelle's Show.

My favorite memory of O.D.B. was from back when he and Mya and Pras were performing "Ghetto Superstar" on some MTV awards show. The director (or whoever was in charge of calling the camera shots) had done his or her very best to avoid any shots of Mya, who was wearing a red outfit that appeared to be painted on, during the entire performance. At the end there was a view of the stage from stage left, as Mya walked off, Pras pulled back, and O.D.B. wandered out to the front of the stage to shake hands and talk to the crowd. Suddenly Pras dashed out, grabbed O.D.B., and pulled him back away from the front of the stage - which promptly exploded in a pyrotechnic grand finale. As CMJ Magazine noted, O.D.B. had been saved by Pras - saved by Pras! That's something to live with, for both of them.

MAD Magazine used to run betting odds for the causes of death of various celebrities. Anyone who had put money on O.D.B. dying the way he apparently died - not by violence, or from a drug overdose, but from natural causes - would be very rich right now.

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