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Friday, November 26, 2004

Yahoo! News Story - NYC Says Goodbye to ODB

Entertainment - E! Online
E! Online
NYC Says Goodbye to ODB

Thu Nov 18, 7:55 PM ET
Add to My Yahoo! Entertainment - E! Online

By Charlie Amter

Ol' Dirty Bastard made one last trip to his old stomping grounds.

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• News: ODB, RIP
• News: Paternity problems for ODB
• News: ODB primed for a comeback

Photo
E! Online Photo
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Thousands of family, friends and fans of the Wu-Tang Clan cofounder gathered in his native Brooklyn Thursday to send off the rapper.

ODB, whose real name was Russell Jones, died mysteriously in a New York recording studio last Saturday, two days shy of his 36th birthday. Initial autopsy results were inconclusive; toxicology tests on the notoriously hard-living hip-hopster should be released next week.

The funeral, held at the Christian Cultural Center, was attended by ODB collaborators like Mariah Carey, Method Man, RZA, U-God and Roc-A-Fella Records boss Damon Dash. ODB's wife and seven children were also on hand.

The burial came a day after some 600 mourners descended on Harlem's St. James Presbyterian Church for a public viewing of the rapper, who was in an open casket topped by a massive bouquet of white flowers

"He was like a character you'd know from around the way," one fan told a Newsday reporter on the scene Wednesday evening. "It just seems like the end of hip-hop."

ODB's father, William Jones, said he had spoken to his son about three weeks before his death, as the rapper was putting the finishing touches on a long-in-the-works solo comeback album. "He just loved life," Jones told MTV. "He was the light in the family."

Roc-A-Fella's Dash, who was shepherding ODB's album, told MTV, "I'm very disappointed because I know what was about to happen for him."

Dash also tried to dash speculation that ODB was back to his drug-abusing ways in the days before his demise. "He wasn't getting his life together, his life was together," said Dash.

Indeed, the "Got Your Money" singer had several projects in the works. Aside from his album, he cameoed on fellow Brooklynite Bekay's new album, The Future of Hip-Hop Is Now. He was also due to reconvene with Wu-Tang for the ensemble's first East Coast gig in years.

And he was working on a show for Spike TV called Stuck on ODB. The reality show, filmed last summer, featured a contestant who was chained to the rapper via an ankle bracelet for five days.

For now, the status of the show is in limbo. "We expressed our condolences to the family, and right now things are on hold due to the tragic circumstances," a Spike TV rep said in a statement.

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