Ol’ Dirty Bastard (aka Russell Jones) rose to fame with the Wu-Tang Clan in the early ’90s, his unorthodox rap style and reputation for erratic behavior putting him in a media spotlight. As a solo artist, he released two albums that went gold and achieved crossover fame through a duet with Mariah Carey that debuted at number one on the Billboard
charts. But for the next decade, his life would be fueled by chaos and excess until it derailed completely, resulting in a fatal drug overdose in 2004 and leaving behind an enigmatic legacy and a remarkably diverse group of fans.
In a compelling combination of personal narrative, biography, and cultural criticism, Digging for Dirt
explores ODB’s life, career, mythology, death, and the troubled trajectory of his public and private worlds. Jaime Lowe met with the people ODB affected and was most affected by—surviving members of the Wu-Tang Clan, his hip-hop contemporaries, his parents, his followers, his managers, his neighbors, and his friends—in an attempt to figure out the man behind the clown-prince persona, and the issues of race, celebrity, mental illness, and exploitation that surrounded his rise and fall.