Ol’ Dirty Bastard – “Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version” review

Released 4 months after fellow Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man’s solo debut Tical, the Ol’ Dirty Bastard is next in line to eat & he’s having The Abbot producing a bulk of it as he did on Meth’s solo debut. The production on here is still pretty grimy but on the rhyming side of things, it’s a not like any other hip hop album you’ve ever heard. Dirt’s delivery is unorthodox from being hardcore like on the self/True Master produced Brooklyn Zoo to actually singing like on the track Drunk Game (Sweet Sugar Pie). There are even points throughout the album where he’s off beat & while that may sound like it’s off the bat wack, Dirt’s erratic personality makes it surprisingly entertaining. His lyrics are pretty vulgar too but again, his craziness makes it hilarious. The “I drop science like girls be dropping babies” line on Brooklyn Zoo always puts a smile on my face whenever I hear it & I find the beat on this track to be perfect to play during a b-boy competition. The album also features a few well known Wu cuts such as the catchy piano-looped Shimmy Shimmy Ya as well as the Method Man/Raekwon assisted Raw Hide which sounds like a vintage Wu-Tang track. It does have it’s minor flaws, though. Namely me wishing that Ol’ Dirty rapped more on Goin’ Down as well as him reprising the first half of one of the previous tracks on here Damage for the first verse on the Ghostface featured Brooklyn Zoo II (Tiger Crane). I mean I like the rest of the track, but I’m complaining about the Damage reprise because I just don’t find it as haunting as it sounded when he did it with GZA on the original track. Aside from those minor issues, this album is solidified evidence that there was no father to Dirt’s style

Score: 4.5/5

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