Russell Jones, also known as Ol' Dirty Bastard, died yesterday at the age of 36.
A founding member of the groundbreaking Staten Island rap group the Wu-Tang Clan, ODB - whose real name was Russell Jones - collapsed on the floor of 36 Records LLC just two days short of his 36th birthday.
He was pronounced dead at 5:04 p.m., officials said.
"This ain't no joke. This is real life, just like you lose your mother, or your brother," said fellow Wu-Tang rapper GhostFace Killah, when ODB's body was brought out of the W. 34th St. studio three hours later.
"This is a big loss," said Killah, who said ODB had complained to others of chest pain. "But I guess he's with the Father now. He's in good hands."
After Wu-Tang exploded on the music scene in 1993 with the album "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)," ODB became as notorious for his erratic behavior as his hit singles "Brooklyn Zoo" and "Shimmy Shimmy Ya."
He was shot at least twice, and fathered at least 13 children with several women. He drew national attention when he rushed onstage during the 1998 Grammy Awards to complain when he didn't win.
He was charged with attempted murder, shoplifting and drugs, and spent time as a fugitive before getting collared in a McDonald's parking lot in 1999.
He attempted suicide before entering prison, but upon his release in 2003, he vowed to clean up his act.
This souped up, individual stuck, the new stuff
Same kid cryin on the stand with Judge Cuffner (sic)
UPDATE: And here's the Advance story (thanks to William in the comments for the heads-up).
After going in front of the West Brighton judge on drug charges, O.D.B. made Supreme Court Justice Charles Kuffner famous with the lyrics: "Sad kid crying on the stand with Kuffner."
When contacted, Kuffner said his first reaction to news of O.D.B.'s death was, "There goes my 15 minutes of fame ... I'm history just like him."