Happy 20th Anniversary to Nigga Please from the late great Wu-Tang Clan member Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Released on September 14, 1999, this was the last official solo album released during ODB’s lifetime. The album debuted at #10 on the Billboard 200 with 93,000 copies sold in the first week. Three months later, the album was certified gold by the RIAA. Ol’ Dirty Bastard wrote and recorded his second album, “Nigga Please”, between jail sentences. The album received notable commercial success. The album included the single “Got Your Money”, which garnered worldwide chart success. The song was produced by The Neptunes and featured R&B singer Kelis on the hook.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard along with RZA and GZA formed a group “Force of the Imperial Master” and put out an underground single called “All In Together Now” and after its underground street success, it became their name. They eventually teamed up with six other rappers from the slums of “Shaolin” Staten Island, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, U God, and Masta Killa, and formed “The Wu-Tang Clan.” The group released their debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in 1993, receiving notable commercial and critical success.
In 1995 Ol’ Dirty Bastard released his first solo album, “Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version.” It produced the hit singles “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” and “Brooklyn Zoo”, which helped propel the album to platinum status. The album’s sound was as “raw and gritty” as 36 Chambers, as quoted by several music writers. The RZA and 4th Disciple produced beats that could be compared to the style that’s on the group’s debut album. In this same year, Ol’ Dirty Bastard collaborated with Mariah Carey for the “Fantasy Remix”.
One of the most notorious moves pulled off by ODB around this time was when he was being profiled for an MTV biography. Ol’ Dirty Bastard took a limousine with two of his kids to a New York State welfare office. He cashed a $375 welfare check and receive food stamps even though his latest album was still in the top ten of the US charts.ODB had recently received a $45,000 cash advance for his first solo album and was earning a cut of the profits from the Wu-Tang Clan’s debut album, Ol’ Dirty Bastard was still listed as eligible for welfare and food stamps due to the fact that he had not yet filed his taxes for the current year.
n 1997, Ol’ Dirty Bastard appeared on the Wu-Tang Clan’s second and most commercially successful work, the double album Wu-Tang Forever. He had fewer appearances on this album than the group’s debut, contributing to one solo track “Dog Shit”, “Maria”, “Reunited”, “Heaterz”, “As High as Wu-Tang Get”, and a spoken intro on “Triumph”
In February 1998, Ol’ Dirty Bastard witnessed a car accident from the window of his Brooklyn recording studio. He and a friend ran to the accident scene and organized about a dozen onlookers, who assisted in lifting the 1996 Mustang rescuing a 4-year-old girl from the wreckage. She was taken to a hospital with first and second-degree burns. Using a false name, Ol’ Dirty Bastard visited the girl in the hospital frequently until he was spotted by members of the media.
The night after the traffic accident, Ol’ Dirty Bastard interrupted the Grammy’s and announced he had recently purchased expensive clothes in anticipation of winning the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album that he lost to Puff Daddy. Ol’ Dirty Bastard walked on the stage to a round of applause before he asked the audience, “Please calm down, the music and everything. It’s nice that I went and bought me an outfit today that costed a lot of money today, you know what I mean? ‘Cause I figured that Wu-Tang was gonna win. I don’t know how you all see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu-Tang is for the children. We teach the children. You know what I mean? Puffy is good, but Wu-Tang is the best, Okay? I want you all to know that this is ODB, and I love you all. Peace!” Ol’ Dirty Bastard said before making his way off stage.
In 1999, Ol’ Dirty Bastard wrote and recorded his second studio album, Nigga Please in between jail sentences. The album received notable commercial success. The album had hits produced by The Neptune’s and the original sound of a Wu Tang’s RZA and 4th Disciple. ODB used his half rap half-singing type style mixed with his outrages rhymes and constant energy to keep you entertained. Songs like “Recognize” feat Chris Rock and Pharrell was produced by the Neptunes was just a fun song. It was really no concept behind his rhymes, he showed his sense of humor as he just rhymed about how he felt and his life. Songs like The Neptune’s produced track “Cold Blooded”, and “Good Morning Heartache” featuring Lil Mo, he showcases his distinguished singing abilities the way only ODB could. The title track “N***a Please” and “You Don’t Want to F**k With Me” he took it back to the Ason Unique style, where he just spits venomous bars.
In 2001, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, he would go to jail for crack cocaine possession. It seemed like his rap career was always hampered by legal problems. Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s record label at the time was Elektra Records, they made the decision to release a greatest hits album in order to both end their contract with the artist, and to help him profit from the publicity generated by his legal troubles. After the contract with Elektra was terminated, the label D-3 records released the album The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones in 2002, and in 2003, the day he was released from prison, Ol’ Dirty Bastard signed a contract with Roc-A-Fella Records. He recorded VH1 special, Inside Out: Ol’ Dirty Bastard On Parole. He also managed to record a new album, but after the Roc-A-Fella breakup, it has been shelved indefinitely. In October 2004, one month before his death, his last collaboration was with Jon B. on the track “Every time”.” Also in 2004, Ol’ Dirty Bastard had his last live performance at the Rock the Bells hip-hop festival in San Bernardino, California, with the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan. In 2005, five months after his death, he appeared posthumously on the song “Blah-Blah-Blah” by Brooke Valentine on her debut album, Chain Letter.
Nigga Please was the last album Ol’ Dirty Bastard released while he was alive and that album he gave you all of him. From the single “Got Your Money,” you knew you were in for a ride of your life. Even with him singing more on this album he impressed me. It didn’t matter what Ol’ Dirty Bastard rhymed about, it made you want to have fun. His style and flow could never be duplicated, that’s why he was the Ol’ Dirty Bastard, there was no father to his style, as he repped Shaolin Island by way of the Brooklyn Zoo. I want to send a big Salute and congratulations to the Late Great Ol’ Dirty Bastard, aka ODB, Dirt Dog, Dirt Mcguirt, Ason, Ason Unique and The One Man Army, on the release of “Nigga Please” 20 years ago.
Wu-Tang is here forever, Mother F****rOl’ Dirty Bastard 1997