Watch: Unique: âReturn to the 36 Chambersâ 25 Years Later
The 15+ minute documentary tracks ODBâs rise from unsigned hype to a household name, exploring key moments in the rapperâs life, ranging from ODBâs discovery on The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show, leading to his signing to Elektra Records, to the writing sessions that led to âShimmy Shimmy Yaâ and âBrooklyn Zoo.â The mini-doc also provides a look behind the curtain at ODBâs life before Wu-Tang Clan, exploring how he met his wife, his spiritual and intellectual awakening as a Five Percenter and his deep love of music from a young age. Fans can enjoy even more stories on the accompanying audio documentary, available exclusively to Amazon Music, by asking Alexa to âplay Olâ Dirty Bastard: Unique.â
Highlights from Unique: âReturn to the 36 Chambersâ 25 Years Later include:
- RZA on the recording of âShimmy Shimmy Ya:â âShimmy Shimmy Ya,â which became one of the biggest songs off that album was recorded before he had a deal. It was basically done in my bedroom that in daytime it was a studio, at nighttime I would roll this mat on the floor and me and my family would sleep on the floor. So it's ironic. It was the last poverty recording.â
- Bobbito Garcia on the radio freestyle that got ODB signed: âAnd [ODB] gets on the mic, the sh*t was on some real fuck*ng magic sh*t because he started singing Tommy by The Who. And I'm looking at Stretch like, âWhat the fu*k is going on?â But he was lovable immediately. And then he starts rhyming, âI'm the one-man army Ason, I never been taken out.â Which years later becomes his crowning verse on âBrooklyn Zooâ â¦ Dante Ross, he was listening that night that the group was up there, freestyling. He's at a club, he's going home. He hears ODB. Tells the cab driver, âChill, take me up to 114th street and Broadway.â He comes up, he meets ODB and the rest is history.â
- Icelene Jones, on meeting ODB: âMe and him was walking. It was a rainy night, so were walking back there and it's a puddle of water. He took his jacket off so I can step on his jacket to step over the puddle and I'm like, âWhy did you do that for?â Now your jacket is all wet. He just was showing me the type of person that he is and I'm like, âwow, nobody never... what the hell is this all about?â He already knew what he wanted, and he wanted me to be his wife. I'm like, âWe just met, what are you talking about?â He's like, âNo, you're the one. You're the one.ââ
- RZA on ODB appearing to him in his dreams: âSometimes if you're blessed and you have love for a person, that person appears in your dreams. And when they appear in your dream, they're vibrant, they're funny, and you enjoy the dream as almost living life. And I'm fortunate to say that Dirty pops in my dream with a 40 ounce, and we still chase girls in my dreams.â
The documentary also comes as Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version finally goes platinum, almost 25 years to-the-day that album was released. In addition, this Friday, March 27, Rhino is releasing a brand-new, 43-track, 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version featuring a a newly remastered version of the original album along with music from the era that has never been available digitally, including EP tracks, rare instrumentals and promo-only releases. Among the highlights are the digital debuts of âOlâ Dirtyâs Back,â âDonât You Know, Part II,â and the âBrooklyn Zooâ b-side, âGive It To Ya Rawâ (SD50 Remix).
Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) also features the debut of two previously unreleased tracks: âBrooklyn Zoo (Stripped Version)â and âShimmy Shimmy Ya (Stripped Version).â Both songs have been stripped back to their essentials musically, which puts the focus on the lyrics and highlight how great a storyteller ODB was.
ODB was a founding member of the influential hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan. Their 1993 debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), is widely considered to be one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever made.
ODB released Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version two years after Wu-Tang Clanâs debut. Several members from the group made special appearances on ODBâs album, including RZA, Raekwon, Method Man, Masta Killa, and Ghostface Killah. RZA produced most of the album, with additional production from ODB, True Master, and 4th Disciple.
âOl' Dirty Bastard is a real-life legend. We at the Estate are honored and excited to celebrate ODBâs 25th anniversary of his solo career. He was such a talented musician, and a larger-than-life icon who has inspired music fans across the globe,â said Nicole Beckett, Creative Director at Four Screens Management, Estate of ODB. His lasting influence has had a profound influence on both music and hip hop culture. We are thrilled to be working with Amazon and Rhino to further his legacy.â
âMy children and I are beyond excited to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of my late husbandâs album, Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version,â said Icelene Jones, Administrator of the Estate of Olâ Dirty Bastard. âWe are even more excited and appreciative of the fans, who have never wavered in their support for ODB, and have honored his talent with a platinum album this year!â
The Estate of Olâ Dirty Bastard is dedicated to promoting the legacy of a Platinum Recording Artist and unique American hip hop icon. Olâ Dirty Bastard was a founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, a rap group that first rose to mainstream prominence with their 1993 debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). After establishing the Wu-Tang Clan, Olâ Dirty Bastard went on to pursue a successful solo career, working with musicians such as Mariah Carey, Kelis, Pras, Mya and Wyclef Jean. His solo albums include 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version and N***a Please. For more information, visit Instagram: @oldirtybastardlegacy