Wu Tang Founding Member’s Cause of Death Unknown

Ol’ Dirty Bastard collapsed and died at a recording studio in New York just two days before his 36th birthday.

Russell Jones, a native of Brooklyn complained of chest pains and hot flashes early Saturday.  Ignoring both symptoms and warnings from family members to seek medical attention, he collapsed at approximately 4:35 pm.  He died minutes later at 5:04.  The cause of death is unknown.

Jones was a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, a rap group that also sparked artists such as Method Man, Ghostface Killah, and Raekwon.  Jones contributed to their debut album the Wu-Tang 36 Chambers, which was released in 1993.

Jones debut solo album, Return to the 36 Chambers: the Dirty Version, which was released in 1995, birthed two of his greatest hits Brooklyn Zoo and Shimmy Shimmy Ya.  1999 marked the release of his sophomore album N*** Please, which includes tracks as Baby I Got Ya Money featuring Kelis.

Fantasy Remix, collaboration between ODB and longtime friend Mariah Carey, was a chart topper.  He also worked with artists such as Lil Mo, Busta Rhymes, and Pharell.

Highlighted for his no holds barred lyrics, raspy voice, and a gold infested grill, ODB was definitely an eccentric element to the Hip Hop community.  Despite his success as a rapper, he experienced countless brushes with the law, which ultimately led him to serve a two-year prison sentence for repeated drug offenses.

In the spring of 2003, ODB was released from Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York.  Shortly after, CEO Damon Dash to Roc-A-Fella Records signed him to the label and ODB then changed his industry name to Dirt McGirt.  He was recording his album, which has not been released and launched a clothing line, Dirty Wear.

“All of us in the Roc-A-Fella family are shocked and saddened by the sudden and tragic death of our brother and friend…Russell inspired all of us with his spirit, wit, and tremendous heart.  He will be missed dearly, and our thoughts, prayers, and deepest condolences go out to his wonderful family.  The world has lost a great talent, but we mourn the loss of a friend,” said Dame Dash.

One day prior to Jone’s death, Wu Tang Clan gave their first East Coast concert in five years.  Dirty was unable to appear.  Wu Tang member Ghostface Killah said, “It’s a big loss right now.  I knew him for 20 years.  He was my brother, heart, soul, pride, and joy.”

Jones death has also touched the hearts of some Howard University students.  “His style was different from other rappers and for this he will be missed,” said Micah Garrison a devout fan from New Jersey.

“There will never be another Ol’ Dirty Bastard and this is saddening.  May his soul forever Rest In Peace,” said Daphne Isaac.

Both private and public funeral arrangements have been made to take place Thursday in Brooklyn.