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A frank write-up of ODB's life

from the lonely-spotlight dept.

In case you've missed it, ODB's death has been making headlines for the last few days. Here's a good article from the Houston Chronicle highlighting how unfortunate his life was. It's an interesting read. Here's a snippet:

But the tragedy of his life was the result of another social blight that was played up for yuks. His bizarre behavior made him rap's irrepressible clown prince. It also stemmed from mental illness and substance abuse that went untreated and in many ways was encouraged ...

His music, when it avoided pure, profane misogyny (which wasn't often), could be strangely compelling. But as with all jesters, it was the carnivalesque freak show that folks wanted to witness, a tantalizing flash of flickering insanity. Any humanity he brought to his music was lost on the laughing legions until last weekend when he turned up dead like Yorick.

It's a lofty comparison, Ol' Dirty Bastard and Shakespeare's doomed funnyman, and one the unhinged and ineloquent Jones hardly warranted.

But Jones was too troubled to know that his '90s successes had offered him an escape from the hard-scrabble streets of his youth. He would rise and fall, time and again. He traipsed along oblivious, immersing his life in tragedy, and the way that tragedy was glorified and left alone to fester, was full of foreshadowing, pointlessness and waste.

Jones' lifestyle suggested an early end would come. Autopsy results won't be known until later this week. And in many ways, it doesn't matter if he died of natural or other causes. Another record, perhaps several, will be cobbled together and released. It will remind people of that unpredictable rapscallion Ol' Dirty Bastard and his unpredictable deeds. But it's too late to judge him for his poor behavior, and it's too late to help him with it.

The show, the good and bad, is over.

It's a shame that stardom can often lead to a strange sort of isolation where a person's problems go so grossly unchecked. It's sad. What a tragedy.