Rap Legend Ol’ Dirty Bastard Remembered in Graphic Novel ‘ODB: Oddities, Discord, & B-Sides — Lyrical Ruckus in the City’

The currently crowdfunding anthology is described as a “volatile, genre-defying homage” to one of Wu-Tang Clan’s founding members

Oni Press

The late Wu-Tang Clan founding member Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s story is being brought to life with a genre twist by comic publisher Oni Press in “ODB: Oddities, Discord, & B-Sides — Lyrical Ruckus in the City.” The 112-page graphic anthology “explores the legendary artist’s many identities through the prisms of hand-to-hand kung-fu combat, dystopian science fiction, darkness-haunted horror, and lovelorn romance,” according to the publisher.

The description for the graphic novel reads, “In a fractured New York City, an elemental impact event has caused different versions of the city’s most infamous neighborhoods from across the multiverse to converge together into a single reality.”

The rapper’s son Young Dirty Bastard, or Bar-Sun Unique Jones, tells TheWrap that the book “has kung fu action, sci-fi strangeness, romance, and weird horror. The ODB Universe has something for everyone, including a new ODB action figure inspired by the book.” He also mentioned an exclusive version of ODB’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” on a 7″ vinyl single featuring new cover art by Ronald Wimberly.

“It’s dope,” YDB adds.

Icelene Jones, ODB’s wife and administrator of his estate, said, “I am thrilled to bring ODB to life in this incredibly powerful graphic novel,” adding that it “combines the essence of my husband like I’ve never seen before. He was and is an inspiration to my family, children, and fans across the world.”

The graphic novel was created in partnership with Four Screens and authorized by ODB’s estate. The book will be released in November 2024, but it’s available for pre-order on Kickstarter now.

“Spectral apparitions now haunt the streets of Queens,” the book’s official description continues. “In the Lower East Side, a rogue artificial intelligence has seized the streets. A hundred blocks north, time travelers are throwing a block party in Harlem. And that’s only the beginning…”

“Our guide through this splintered mutation of New York’s past, present, and future is none other than Ol’ Dirty Bastard himself,” the publisher adds. “Follow him as he leads us through odd, urgent, and powerful tales that cast freedom and oppression, wealth and poverty, love and loss, and even life or death like so many dice in a cosmic game of chance.”

Born Russell Tyrone Jones, ODB was one of the founding members of Staten Island’s Wu-Tang Clan. He and cousins Bobby Diggs (the RZA) and Gary Grice (the GZA) formed a rap trio called Force of the Imperial Master before changing their group’s name to All in Together Now.

They went on to add six more members — Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Method Man, U-God, Inspectah Deck and Masta Killa — to the group (and were also joined by friend Cappadonna).

ODB kicked off his solo career with the release of 1995’s “Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version.” The album featured two monster tracks, “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” and “Brooklyn Zoo,” and went platinum.

His career was also plagued by legal troubles. He was arrested and in and out of jail for crimes including shoplifting, driving without a license, failure to pay child support and possession of a controlled substance. ODB performed with Wu-Tang Clan for the last time on July 17, 2004, and his final performance ever was the following day at the Gathering of the Juggalos in Garrettsville, Ohio.

ODB collapsed on Nov. 13, 2004, from a drug overdose.

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