DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Ol’ Dirty Bastard (aged 35)
Rapper (Wu-Tang Clan)
Russell Tyrone Jones (November 15, 1968 – November 13, 2004), better known by his stage name Ol’ Dirty Bastard (or O.D.B.), was an American rapper and producer. He was one of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan, a rap group primarily from Staten Island, New York which first rose to mainstream prominence with their 1993 debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
His professional success was hampered by frequent legal troubles, including incarceration.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard was noted for his “outrageously profane, free-associative rhymes delivered in a distinctive half-rapped, half-sung style”. His stage name was derived from the 1980 martial arts film Ol’ Dirty and the Bastard (also called An Old Kung Fu Master, starring Yuen Siu-tien).
DEATH: According to The Atlantic contributing editor and music biographer James Parker, Ol’ Dirty Bastard had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2003.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard collapsed at approximately 4:35 pm (EST) on November 13, 2004 (two days before his 36th birthday) at RZA’s recording studio (36 Chambers Records LLC on West 34th Street in New York City). His funeral was held at Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center and drew a crowd of thousands.
The official cause of death was a drug overdose; an autopsy found a lethal mixture of cocaine and the prescription drug tramadol. The overdose was ruled accidental and witnesses say Ol’ Dirty Bastard complained of chest pain on the day he died.