— Ol’ Dirty Bastard, original member of the illustrious Wu-Tang Clan, jumpstarted his solo career with the release of “Brooklyn Zoo” in February 1995.

Exactly twenty-three years ago, the late great Ol’ Dirty Bastard released his debut single ahead of his upcoming debut solo album, Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version. That single, “Brooklyn Zoo” went on to become one of ODB’s most successful singles, only second to “Got Your Money”.

As a proud and true Brooklyn native, ODB was able to infuse the voice of his borough into the track and subsequently created a Brooklyn anthem. The song, produced by ODB himself and Wu-Tang affiliate, True Master, takes the shape of a viscous verbal assault as OBD belligerently rants at an unknown challenger.

Two music videos were also made for “Brooklyn Zoo” with one gaining more worldwide exposure than the other. The more common version shows Ol’ Dirty Bastard, as well as various members of Wu-Tang Clan, lingering in a rundown project hallway while rapping the lyrics to “Brooklyn Zoo”. However, the original version, which gained limited exposure due to its mature subject matter, featured a movie with subtitles. The movie tells the story of Pimp Daddy (played by Ol’ Dirty Bastard) and a wild escapade he goes on shortly after returning from prison.

The name, “Brooklyn Zoo”, is a reference to the actual zoological park located in Brooklyn as well as a group closely affiliated with ODB known as “Brooklyn Zu”.

R.I.P ODB

Written by Simo Haier

– Back in 1999, one of the founding members of the almighty Wu-Tang Clan, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, released his final solo project titled, Nigga Please.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Final Official Album, ‘Nigga Please’

By ’99, Ol’ Dirty Bastard had already made a name for himself in a way that only he could. Not only did his rugged, half-sung, free associative rhyme scheme make him one of a kind, but he had also become quite the public personality. He had been saving children’s lives, triggering welfare reform, and preceding Kanye West with his classic interruption at the 1998 Grammy Awards up until that point. So, when ODB released his second solo album, Nigga Please, this distinct character had accrued a massive following that he would be aiming to please yet again.

The album opens up in dramatic fashion with “Recognize” as comedian Chris Rock, Pharrell Williams, and ODB himself tenaciously let you know that you need to recognize who Ol’ Dirty Bastard is. He then goes on to deliver gems like “I Can’t Wait”, “You Don’t Want to Fuck with Me”, and his rendition of Rick James’ “Cold Blooded”. Also featured on the album was ODB’s smash hit “Got Your Money” featuring Kelis who was making her debut appearance. The track reached #26 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a large international success.

Nigga Please was also heavily supported by masterful production from legends like The Neptunes, Irv Gotti, and of course, RZA. The all-star team of producers whipped up an incredible assortment of sounds that included samples and inspiration from Slick Rick, Rick James, Labelle, and even the theme song from American TV Drama, T.J. Hooker.

While Nigga Please wasn’t met with the same critical praise as ODB’s first solo album, Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, it still did considerably well commercially. With the added fact that ODB was able to write and record the album in between jail sentences, it becomes that much more evident of the talent that he possessed.

R.I.P. Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Written by DJ Robinson

The 40 Years of Hip Hop Mashup is what you need to hold you over until you make it back to the aux cord after work. Chicago based production group, The Hood Internet, known for their pretty interesting song mashups posted to YouTube and Soundcloud, have taken on the task of smashing 40 years of hip hop into 4 minutes. It sounds damn near impossible but they did it, with each artist finishing the bars of the last. That’s the real feat here but they made it seem so effortless without missing a beat, resulting in a very solid hip hop mini history lesson.

There’s really something for every hip hop head in this mix. I’ve really never been so satisfied with tiny snippets of music but I was able to reminisce on Pimp C, get a Pac fix, and Harlem Shake to “All About The Benjamins” all in four minutes. The Hood Internet wasn’t playing games about going back in time either; The 40 Years of Hip Hop Mashup has Afrika Bambataa and Grandmaster Flash somehow cohesively sharing a slot with Ying Yang Twins and House of Pain. It was nice to see that The 40 Years of Hip Hop Mashup made sure not to leave out the female hip hop presence with appearances from Lauryn Hill, Missy, and Salt N Pepa.

Head over to The Hood Internet SoundCloud page for more and check out the list of all of the featured artists below.

2 Pac, 50 Cent, A Tribe Called Quest, Afrika Bambaataa, Audio Two, AZ, Beastie Boys, BG, Big Pun, Biz Markie, Black Rob, Black Sheep, Blackstreet, Bobby Shmurda, Boogie Down Productions, Busta Rhymes, Cali Swag District, Cam’ron, Chamillionaire, Chance The Rapper, Clipse, Common, Craig Mack, Cypress Hill, David Banner, De La Soul, Dead Prez, Digable Planets, Digital Underground, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, DJ Kool, DJ Quik & Kurupt, DMX, Doug E Fresh, Dr. Dre, Drake, Eazy-E, Eminem, Eric B. & Rakim, Funky 4+1, Gang Starr, Geto Boys, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, GZA, House of Pain, Ice Cube, J-Kwon, Jadakiss, Jay Electronica, Jay-Z, JJ Fad, Juvenile, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, KRS-One, Lauryn Hill, Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, Lil Kim, Lil Troy, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Ludacris, Madvillain, MC Shan, Meek Mill, MF DOOM, Missy Elliott, Mobb Deep, Montell Jordan, MOP, Nas, Naughty By Nature, Nelly, Nicki Minaj, Notorious B.I.G, N.W.A, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Outkast, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Petey Pablo, Pharoahe Monch, Public Enemy, Puff Daddy, Quad City DJs, Rich Boy, Rick Ross, Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, Run-DMC, Salt N Pepa, Scarface, Schoolly D, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Skee-Lo, Slick Rick, Snoop Dogg, Soulja Boy, Sugarhill Gang, T La Rock, T-Wayne, T.I., Terror Squad, The Fat Boys, The Fatback Band, The Fugees, The Game, The Pack, The Pharcyde, The Roots, Three 6 Mafia, Tone Loc, Tyga, UGK, Usher, UTFO, Warren G, Whodini, Wreckx-N-Effect, Wu-Tang Clan, Ying Yang Twins, Young Gunz

Written by ViV