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On the tenth anniversary of his death, The Dirty Version is the first biography of hip hop superstar and founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, to be written by someone from his inner circle: his right-hand man and best friend, Buddha Monk.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard rocketed to fame with the Wu-Tang Clan, the raucous and renegade group that altered the world of hip hop forever. ODB was one of the Clan’s wildest icons and most inventive performers, and when he died of an overdose in 2004 at the age of thirty-five, millions of fans mourned the loss. ODB lives on in epic proportions and his antics are legend: he once picked up his welfare check in a limousine; lifted a burning car off a four-year-old girl in Brooklyn; stole a fifty-dollar pair of sneakers on tour at the peak of his success. Many have questioned whether his stunts were carefully calculated or the result of paranoia and mental instability.
Now, Dirty’s friend since childhood, Buddha Monk, a Wu-Tang collaborator on stage and in the studio, reveals the truth about the complex and talented performer. From their days together on the streets of Brooklyn to the meteoric rise of Wu-Tang’s star, from bouts in prison to court-mandated rehab, from Dirty’s favorite kind of pizza to his struggles with fame and success, Buddha tells the real story—The Dirty Version—of the legendary rapper.
About the Author
Buddha Monk is an MC, producer, and singer who toured the world with Ol’ Dirty Bastard and the Wu-Tang Clan. He was Dirty’s onstage hype man and was instrumental in recording and producing his debut solo album, Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version. The saga continues: today Buddha tours and releases albums as a solo artist and produces and performs with acts such as the Committee, Heissman—Black Bush the Movement, Zu Bulliez, Brooklyn Zu, and many more.
Mickey Hess is Professor of English at Rider University, where he teaches creative writing and Hip-Hop and American Culture. He is the author of Big Wheel at the Cracker Factory and Is Hip Hop Dead? The Past, Present, and Future of America’s Most Wanted Music, and the editor of Icons of Hip Hop and Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide.
“An unprecedented portrait of Jones’ inner life.” — Salon
“Monk captures [ODB’s] charisma and charm, but also the joy and pain that fame brought [him], as well as the drugs, the women and the demise. It’s a great work in honor of an individual who tried to walk the best line he could.” — Ebony
“Cuts through the urban legends to present more complex sides to the infamous icon.” — i.-D. Magazine
“An eye-witness account about the life and times of the larger-than-life character.” — Philadelphia City Paper
“Monk is a genial narrator and provides an authentic look at the N.Y.C. hip-hop scene [and] a unique perspective on the troubled life of an intriguing artist.” — Publishers Weekly
“Everywhere Ol’ Dirty Bastard went, Buddha Monk was there. Buddha was Dirty’s hype man on stage, and he helped protect him on tour when Dirty didn’t have any security. Buddha was everything to Dirty.” — Icelene Jones, Dirty's widow
“Dirty and Buddha were the twin towers. There ain’t no Brooklyn Zu without them. It was rare to see Dirty do a show without Buddha Monk.” — Hell Razah of Sunz of Man
“Provides a unique perspective [and an] entertaining, insightful portrait . . . For even a casual hip-hop fan, The Dirty Version is an easy and enlightening read. And for true hip-hop heads, this is some essential stuff. Word is bond.” — Winnipeg Free Press
Hlarious, profound, entertaining, and inspiring . . . One of the most interesting and unpredictable biographies I’ve ever read. The Dirty Version travels light-years beyond ODB’s shocking headlines to illustrate the relentless humanity of a free loving American icon. — MK Asante, author of BUCK: A MEMOIR
“Buddha Monk and Dirty were like Batman and Robin. Buddha wore many hats - he was an engineer, hype man, bouncer, and bodyguard. As long as I’ve been working with my cousins in Wu-Tang, Buddha Monk was there. I can’t remember a time when he wasn’t.” — John "Mook" Gibbons, founder and CEO of Wu-Tang Management and cousin to RZA, GZA, and Ol' Dirty Bastard