SUBJECT: Jones, Russel Tyrone

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Thanks to Lyndon Baines Johnson and his Freedom of Information Act, this week the FBI profile of deceased rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard became publically available. Fans, colleagues and children of Ol’ Dirty could celebrate their master’s achievements, which include a wild west-style shootout with the police force of New York City, connection to three separate murders and an array of suspicious money folders. Double the amount of homicides, throw a million dollars worth of liquid cocaine in one of the Eastpaks and gratuitously add a sexual harassment case to the file and few eyebrows would be raised. It could easily still be that of Dirt McGirt: probably not the only person to ever confuse diarrhea with an STD, but certainly the first to make it publically known on wax.

Russel “Ol’ Dirty Bastard” Jones, as he is mostly referred to in the 93-page file, is accused of involvement in three murder cases, including the “six fatal gunshot wounds” of loosely identified Ishmael Kourma in Ohio. The FBI owes the victim’s death to “money for drugs”, thereby sustaining the report’s consensus that the Wu-Tang Clan “organization” are of an overwhelmingly criminal nature. Ol’ Dirty’s criminal record is dense, varying from attempted murder to failure to pay child support. However, ODB also takes his turn as victim in the FBI file, having been robbed and shot in a Brooklyn projects in 1999, the same year his second and final studio album was released. Attacked by two men in black ski masks, Ol’ Dirty Bastard suspected his sister, who lived in the same projects, to have been connected with the robbery, but for fear of safety of nearby family members, “never investigated who robbed him”.

The “rap type music” of Wu-Tang Clan, as described by the report, is suggested to be the guise of criminal operation, “allow[ing] legitimate moneys to flow into [bank] accounts with the proceeds from [________]”. Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s debut solo album, Return to the 36 Chambers: the Dirty Version, released in 1995, told inebriated tales; nonsensical rapping, singing and humming that distanced ODB’s character from the horror of his environment. The FBI file exposes quite how traumatising the life of the real Ol’ Dirty Bastard was. The mimed gun sounds in Brooklyn Zoo weren’t just gratuitous — he meant them – and the soulful unease of Snakes becomes greatly intensified. Ol’ Dirty Bastard lived his raps, through a drunken glare and opiate-sweating brain. The assembled police reports, statements and snippets of articles allege Ol’ Dirty Bastard to have been a murderer, drug trafficker and connected to a certain LA gang, yet a simple observation of hip-hop’s greatest ever personality could infer similarly despicable activity. His greatness was his instability. Murder is a difficult thing to digest, but ODB never cared much for sensitivity. Don’t agree? “Hell, I don’t even like your motherfucking profile”.