The late Wu-Tang Clan rapper ODB was one of the kookiest, outlandish and flamboyant MCs of the 1990s. With his erratic, crazy delivery and unique look, the musician (real name Russell Jones) was the first member of his crew to secure a major label record deal. Between 1995 and 2004, he was producing quality material. However, before he passed, he had what was dubbed an “insane” encounter with the singer, songwriter, actor, and political activist Tom Morello.
In an appearance on the People’s Party podcast with Talib Kweli, Morello spoke on various topics, from his experiences touring with Rage Against The Machine to his time as a member of Prophets of Rage alongside Chuck D. However, Morello had a fascinating story about the Wu-Tang Clan and a compelling exchange he had with ODB.
As he reminisced on his career, Morello recounted when he (as part of Rage Against The Machine) went on a joint tour with Wu-Tang in 1997. Although the Staten Island collective did drop out of the tour halfway through, Morello loved his time with the New York group, disclosing, “I felt blessed and honoured to be on tour with Wu-Tang, it was the craziest idea but their experience…they hadn’t really toured before! They did shows and done award shows, but touring is a grind!”
He continued, “They had other responsibilities. It was nine guys. They never went through that phase of ‘We’re a band in a van’, but I had a great time and RZA, and I remain close to this day I love him, and I think that he really got it back then.” But he soon revealed a story about Ol Dirty Bastard that was interesting, to say the least.
Suddenly remembering the event, Morello declared, “I have a great Dirty story! We had 34 shows booked with Wu-Tang Clan. They played 17 of them. I don’t think they went past Mississippi. Dirty was at two! One was the New York show, and one was the Atlanta show. So Wu-Tang played first. I’m getting ready for the show, kinda wandering around the tour bus and the parking lot. Wu-Tang are on stage killing, and who do I see wandering around the parking lot…Ol Dirty Bastard!”
He then elaborated, “So I said, ‘Hey, how’s it going’ and he’s like ‘Bro, what’s your name?’ So I said Tom, then he asked me, ‘Where’s the stage?!'” Laughing, he continued, “It’s like a shed there was a parking lot and a stage, and there’s music coming from it. So I’m like, ‘It’s there,’ and then he continues walking off in the other direction into the night!”
You can watch Morello’s interview with Talib Kweli in the video below.