His sound was an acquired taste. Those who like hip-hop liked Ol’ Dirty; those with no affinity for hip-hop thought he was horrible. He was a rapper for the fellas, although he won over the ladies with songs with Kelis, Mya, and Mariah. He became a folk hero of sorts, a pre-cursor to Flavor Flav’s VH1 celebrity. How could he be a famous rapper and still be on welfare, they asked? He was the epitome of celebrity ills, an artist whose character overwhelmed his real self. Where would he have been without hip-hop? Although it may have been his status that fueled his self-destruction, it was the talent behind that status that blazed an unforgettable path in hip-hop history.
(November 15, 1968 – November 13, 2004)