The late emcee, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, was an incredibly striking figure who profoundly impacted hip-hop during his life. As a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, the lyricist (real name Russell Jones) played a pivotal role in launching the Staten Island collective into the mainstream with their 1993 debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
Jones brought dark humour, dynamism and a vigorous edge to hip-hop with his distinctive half-rapped, half-sung delivery. His vocals were always loud, and, as a cultural figure, Ol’ Dirty Bastard (ODB) was undoubtedly a raucous character.
From ‘I Got Your Money’ featuring Kelis to ‘Brooklyn Zoo’, ODB made some fantastic songs. However, although Jones was charismatic and extremely audacious, behind the scenes, he could be quite disrespectful and a bit brash, and one incident that highlights this exactly is when the Brooklyn lyricist indirectly disrespected LL Cool J at Chung King Studios.
Chung King Studios was a pillar of New York hip-hop during the 1980s and 1990s. From Run-DMC and The Beastie Boys to Nas and Jay-Z, the recording facility has seen an unfathomable amount of stars using its studios.
During the 1990s, the studio was located in the Hudson Square neighbourhood of Lower Manhattan. In a new interview with Frank 151 magazine, the studio’s founder, John King, recalled an incident in 1995 when Jones got extremely angry at LL Cool J, disclosing, “One of my favourite stories was when [Ol’ Dirty Bastard] and I were sitting in the office. We might’ve been snorting something, I don’t know, and we were drinking champagne and celebrating!”
He continued, “ODB had just done really well on his [Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version]; his hair was doing the full O.D.B. [signature look] and stuff. And LL [Cool J] was supposed to come in and be on the session that day. And he didn’t come in!”
However, this was when Jones went over the edge. Detailing what happened after LL’s no-show, King divulged, “ODB just got up at one point—stopped, got up and walked over and pulled LL’s record off the wall and pissed on it!”
It was never clarified which album Ol’ Dirty urinated on, as LL had recorded at Chung King dating back to his 1985 debut, Radio. However, King still has the record in possession as he unveiled, “I still have the record with the piss all over it! It’s at my house. I haven’t done the montage yet.”
Despite it being shocking, Jones’ substance abuse was well-known in the industry and in 2004, the Brooklyn emcee died of an overdose. You can hear more about the shocking Chung King incident in the video below.