Today in Hip-Hop History: Wu-Tang Clan’s ODB Passed Away 17 Years Ago

On this date in 2004, Russell Jones, who is better known to the world as Ason Unique aka Ol’ Dirty Bastard, was found unresponsive in an NYC recording studio and died moments later; merely two days before his 36th birthday.

According to the medical examiner, Dirty died from an apparent drug overdose, a fatal mixture of cocaine and the prescription drug Tramadol. This synthetic opiate is usually prescribed to treat severe pain. His death is being ruled an accident.

ODB has had a well-documented history of drug abuse. Still, in 2003, following his release from prison after serving a two-year sentence on drug and other related charges, he had publicly professed to be drug-free.


On the day of his passing, ODB complained of chest pains while working at the old Wu-Tang Clan Studios on West 34th Street in New York, a day after missing a Wu-Tang Clan reunion show in nearby East Rutherford, New Jersey.

A short time later, he died with his young son, Barsun Jones, present in the studio.

With such a monumental career which includes three solo albums and countless Wu projects, ODB definitely made his mark on the rap game as well as the world.

Salute the God and the rest of the WTC!