Ol’ Dirty Bastard – “Nigga Please” – [Elektra Entertainment]
1998 was arguably the craziest year in this crazy man’s short life. He rescued a 4 year old girl from the burning wreckage of a car crash, snatched the mic and slighted Puffy at the Grammy’s, pleaded guilty to attempted assault on his wife, was the victim of home invasion at his girlfriend’s house in which he got shot in the arm and back with a .357 but the wounds were deemed superficial, was arrested for shoplifting $50 sneakers with $500 in his pocket, and was finally acquitted for weapons and attempted murder charges. In 1999, after being arrested in February for being a convicted felon wearing a bulletproof vest and doing time for possession of marijuana and 20 vials of crack cocaine, he recorded and promoted this album album until he was forced to enter a court-ordered drug treatment program which he escaped from in October of 2000. He was also monitored by the FBI during this time: His FBI file was released to the public after a Freedom of Information Act request. It contains details of numerous crimes, such as alleged connections to three murders, a shoot out with the NYPD, and a RICO investigation against the Wu-Tang Clan. The production on this is handled by three camps: the Neptunes (their best work ever in my mind), Irv Gotti and posse, and Wu-affiliates (RZA, True Master & Buddah Monk). Soulheads will be drawn to the familiar voices of Chris Rock and Pharell on Recognize or the Rick James cover Cold Blooded or the chart-topper Got Your Money that launched R&B singer and rapper Nas’ wife Kelis’ whole career. But the two highlights for me are 1. the album’s soulful cohesiveness aside from the positively erratic and insane vocal performances, though it was not as critically acclaimed as his debut album (Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version), I think it is more of a complete and discerning work with no filler, and 2. the track Gettin’ High which is a Brooklyn Zoo posse cut where Ol’ Dirty is absent, when it comes to throwing the publishing around the man was a humble genius through and through. There is FCCs through and through also so only for safe harbor unless somebody cleans it up.