When ODB was arrested and hospitalised in one act
(Credit: Alamy)

Old School Archives

When ODB was arrested and hospitalised in one act

The late emcee, Ol’ Dirty Bastard (ODB), 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.

That said, there are many crazy stories about Jones, and in his 2023 memoir, Son of the City, legendary New York A&R Dante Ross told some electrifying yet comical stories about the late Brooklyn emcee.

Dante Ross was one of the most established A&Rs operating in New York during the 1990s and worked closely with some of hip-hop’s greatest artists, including De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Brand Nubian, and members of the Wu-Tang Clan. After working at Tommy Boy and Loud Records, Ross settled at Elektra.

In 1993, after the Clan performed a freestyle on KCR radio show, The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show, Ross recalled how he ran down to the studio near Columbia University to meet RZA and the rest of the group in order to sign Jones. After penning the deal, Jones and Ross began plans for his debut album, Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version.

In his memoir, Ross detailed the infamous story of when ODB urinated on an LL Cool J plaque at Chung King Studios. However, he also recalled a story about how ODB got arrested and hospitalised in one act.

Writing about how insane his time was with the Clan member, Ross wrote, “Things got so crazy with ODB that it almost seemed normal. For instance, over the course of just one month, He was arrested and hospitalized for jumping out of a second-story window in Queens after being attacked by a dog in a stranger’s house he had randomly invaded.”

He continued, “I suspected substances were the reason he’d run into a neighbour’s house, as substances were usually involved with Dirty. He also got shot on a corner in Bed Stuy for refusing to run his jewels.”

Reflecting on the failed attempt on Jones’ life, Ross wrote, “I remember finding it really odd that when he got shot, he didn’t want to let anyone know where he was, not even his cousin, Buddha Monk, who was his right-hand man. After this incident, the New York Post somehow tracked me down to ask me questions about Dirty, but I didn’t tell them shit.”

Ross had a copious amount of stories but admitted that ODB’s ability to get arrested and hospitalised in in one night after breaking into someone’s house was by far one of the craziest. You can hear the show where Ross met Jones below.