The truth behind ODB and GZA’s feud
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The truth behind ODB and GZA's feud

Ol’ Dirty Bastard, often referred to as ODB, and GZA were both members of the iconic Staten Island collective, the Wu-Tang Clan. In fact, the two crewmates were cousins. However, this didn’t stop the musicians from getting into a heated feud in the 1990s. Unsurprisingly, akin to other rivalries in hip-hop, including the beef between Diddy and Mase, the issue was money-orientated.

In a commentary on the Wu-Tang Clan given by Karceno, an old affiliate of the group, it is revealed that poor money management caused friction between GZA and Ol Dirty Bastard. Speaking on the crew’s formation, Karceno disclosed: “What many people don’t know is the plan was for everybody to get their own individual [record] deals. They didn’t say, ‘yeah, we like the group,’ they liked the idea because they couldn’t get individual deals on their own before that. They would have just been lost in limbo!”

He continued, “Everybody was able to get a deal off of that. They literally became millionaires off of that [36 Chambers] album! But you’re dealing with people who literally had $1.35 in their pocket to now having hundreds and thousands of dollars, and it created problems with people who didn’t know how to manage money.”

Revealing who was good with their income and who wasn’t, Karceno divulged: “There were people who knew how to manage their funds like GZA. RZA knew how to manage his money. These guys had families they couldn’t afford not to pay attention to these types of things whereas the single guys or guys who wasn’t doing nothing were just doing the same thing they do every day.”

Karceno explained how although ODB was the first member to get a deal, he was poor with money management, declaring, “So after the success of Wu-Tang, Ol Dirty Bastard, he got a record deal before anybody in the Wu-Tang. His deal with Elektra [records] was the first of anybody in the camp. So when he got his deal as soon as they gave him his money, he blew it!”

Delving into the nitty-gritty as to why ODB and GZA entered a feud, Karceno revealed, “Dirty and Genius [GZA] got into it because Dirty wanted some money and didn’t wanna go through RZA to get to it. So he wanted Genius to give him some money, and he was like, ‘I’m not gonna give you no money.’ Then they started going at it over the money!”

Karceno elaborated and explained that ODB’s attempt to make his second album was a shambles. According to the Wu-Tang affiliate, several songs were shelved, some were cherry-picked for combination albums, and others were released unofficially. However, GZA made sure to keep his money and put it into the making of his 1995 second album, Liquid Swords.