Today in Hip-Hop: Ol’ Dirty Bastard Drops ‘Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version’ Album
On this day, March 28, in hip-hop history...
1995: Brooklyn MC and founding Wu-Tang Clan member Ol' Dirty Bastard was one of hip-hop's craziest, most eclectic and beloved personas back in the 1990s. Today, March 28, 2017 marks the anniversary of ODB's solo debut album, Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version.
ODB named his debut album after the group's debut collective record, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers (1993) but brought a completely signature style to his own solo effort. Mixing hardcore hip-hop with R&B elements and strange, funny lyrical arrangements, the Grammy-nominated Dirty Version is still hailed as one of the best debut albums in hip-hop.
Before rappers like Kanye West and Drake were singing on their songs, Dirt McGirt was trying out his wacky, off-key vocals on The Dirty Version. ODB's zany personality shone through on every track, especially on the record's leading single “Brooklyn Zoo,” a one-verse cut featuring his sporadic rap style.
The 15-track album was executive produced by fellow Wu-Tang member RZA and was a first in its class for hardcore hip-hop. Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 and opened the door to an illustrious rap career on ODB's terms. Dirty would go on to release one more solo record, Nigga Please (1999) and collaborate on numerous Wu-Tang joints before his untimely death in November 2004. There was no one quite like ODB, and he will truly be missed.
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