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Olí Dirty Bastard
THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF RUSSELL JONES
(D3)

Stars graphics

ODBís charisma is not to be denied on The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones. After all, this is a guy who conducted an MTV interview in a stretch limo en route to pick up his welfare check. Itís a confused world ODB lives in: in a handful of the discís amusing between-song skits, he expresses his overall disdain for white devils, only to team up with Detroitís devilish white-rappiní duo Insane Clown Posse for "Dirty & Stinkiní," where one of the clowns claims to be "dirty like Osama bin Ladenís toes." ODBís Staten Island clique the Wu-Tang are absent (aside from Wu distant cousins Sunz of Man and Buddha Monk) here, which means that the disc doesnít benefit from the RZAís Midas-touch production. Instead, the RZAís patented analog drum and violin loops are replaced with sparse West CoastĖstyle beats, perhaps with the idea that Dirtyís snarling and growling will carry the load. Thatís understandable when you consider that some of the Wu-Tangís most potent tracks ("Diesel," "Rawhide," "Duel of the Iron Mic") feature ODB commandeering the mike. But Trials is too big a letdown for even ODBís delivery to save. For starters, the disc is cluttered with guest verses from Mack 10, E-40, and No Limitís C-Murder. And three of the best cuts ó "CíMon," "Reunited," and "Dogged Out" ó feature rehashed lyrics from ODBís first album.

BY CHRIS CONTI

Issue Date: April 18 - 25, 2002
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