Docs That Rock

ODB Keeps on Giving

Gone but never forgotten Wu Tang Clan rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard has been the subject of multiple books and tribute albums since his premature death in 2004. He’s even popped up in a few docs, one of which will be released by his cousin, the also nicknamed Raison Allah Iceman of Zu Films. Called Dirty. One Word Can Change The World and excerpted in the clip above, the film features the host of interviews with OBD’s family, friends and fellow rappers along with highlights of the rappers career (“Wu Tang is for the children.” / “Me and Mariah go back like babies and pacifiers.”) (The Spout blog raises a great headscratcher: who could ever play OBD in a biopix? And shouldn’t there be one?)

I’ll always have positive memories of ODB aside from his rapping. After getting out of prison for evading a drug charge, he let us exclusively follow him while he first went on parole. Our VH1 film ODB On Parole was a very raw documentary experience. He was unguarded, perhaps too unguarded, but as a producer and a viewer, it was something rare and unique: a star totally himself whether the camera was on or off. That production was the first time I’ve ever seen or filmed a drug test and saw a meeting between a parolee and his parole officer.


We got some flack after the doc aired from folks who said ODB may have been too mentally unhinged after prison to properly consent to being in a documentary. This is a serious accusation which deserves a longer response, but it’s awkward to do so without violating some of the filmmaking-subject trust we built up during production. I will say that after we finished our three months of filming, he went markedly downhill and wasn’t in the same state when the doc aired as when we were following him. But we also had his mother endorse our filmmaking (she frequently appears in the doc) made us confident in our approach. Of course, VH1 has redesigned the website so I can’t find the show page but here is the teaser for that documentary as a bonus video clip. Really felt this film was well made and very expressive and I wish it had a longer shelf life.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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June 16, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

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