Ol' Dirty Bastard's ongoing — and often outrageous — struggles with the law reached some resolution yesterday, when he pleaded guilty to drug charges in a New York court in exchange for a promised sentence of two to four years in jail.
The rapper, whose real name is Russell Jones, was a fugitive on both the East and West Coasts before his November arrest in Philadelphia. Shortly before his arrest, ODB audaciously performed onstage in New York — where he was wanted on several unanswered bench warrants — while oblivious police officers stood by.
In exchange for his guilty plea to charges that stemmed from a July 1999 arrest, when police found cocaine and marijuana in his car, prosecutors agreed not to pursue charges of violating probation in Southern California (where ODB fled a drug treatment program in November) and jumping bail in New York.
ODB, who is 32, is a founding member of influential Staten Island, N.Y., rap crew the Wu-Tang Clan. In addition to appearing on the group's three albums (though his contribution to last fall's The W is more of a cameo), ODB has released two solo albums, Return to the 36 Chambers and N***a Please.
Throughout his career, however, he has been plagued by run-ins with the law, and he has been arrested on such charges as illegally owning a bulletproof vest, driving with a suspended license, shoplifting, and threatening his ex-girlfriend.
While on the run from the law, ODB reportedly recorded with his cousin, Wu-Tang mastermind RZA.