Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Ol' Dirty Bastard

  • Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version [Elektra, 1995] A-
  • N***a Please [Elektra, 1999] **
  • The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones [D3 Entertainment, 2002] Choice Cuts
  • Osirus: The Official Mixtape [Sure Shot, 2004] ***
  • The Definitive Ol' Dirty Bastard Story [Elektra/Rhino, 2005]

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version [Elektra, 1995]
Yacub's worst nightmare as comedian, moral threat, and nut case, the former Russell Jones walks that three-dimensional tightrope not with grace, and not with hope, either. With faith, maybe--even charity. Certainly with an irrepressible commitment to his own history and culture, however sublumpen the sociology of class and race judges those to be. His compulsion is to turn an absence into a presence. His clownish explosions distance him from how fucked up the violence and pleasures of his culture are and appear, respectively, and his clansmen show us how complex and full of fun their treasure is. "I'm the baddest hip hop man across the world," he sputters, the prized fool in the court of King RZA. A-

N***a Please [Elektra, 1999]
That n***a'z really crazy--which doesn't make him Richard Pryor ("I Can't Wait," "Recognize"). **

The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones [D3 Entertainment, 2002]
"Reunited," "Here Comes the Judge" Choice Cuts

Osirus: The Official Mixtape [Sure Shot, 2004]
Weaker than his legendary final album, but way more alive than his rumored one ("Pop Shots," "Dirty Dirty"). ***

The Definitive Ol' Dirty Bastard Story [Elektra/Rhino, 2005]
See: Recyclables.

See Also