Album Review | Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version

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This album was released on March 28th in 1995. This is one of two albums that ODB released before he passed away in ’04. I really have no idea what to expect; Ol’ Dirty Bastard is weird as fuck, so you never really know what you’re gonna get from him. I’m sure I’ll like at least a handful of these songs tho. I loved his work on on 36 Chambers, and this is a classic Hip Hop album, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle 17 tracks of ODB’s insane delivery. I’ve heard a couple songs from this album, and I know that I liked what I heard. That was a long ass time ago tho, and I don’t really remember what the shit sounded like. I’ll probably remember as soon as I hear it tho. Every song is produced by RZA, except where noted.

Track 1: Intro

Alright, here we go. It’s starting now. It sounds like ODB’s rambling at a concert or something. He’s pretty much just introducing himself and telling the listener to prepare for the impending insanity. The way he’s speaking kinda reminds me of that Black Gallagher sketch from the Chappelle Show for some reason. Oh shit… He’s speaking normally now. The live audience is fading away. He doesn’t sound crazy anymore. It sounds like he’s speaking directly to the listener now. What the fuck… This sounds like it’s gonna get kinda personal… Is this motherfucker crying right now? Wow. I was NOT expecting to be hit with this much emotion so early on. Damn. Wooow. He’s crying ’cause he got gonorrhea. What the fuck… Now he’s singing about the first time this girl sucked his dick. This is absolutely preposterous. “Nah, I’m just kidding with y’all. How y’all feelin’? Listen to the album ’cause it’s bangin’.” Uhh… Okay, I guess the album’s really about to start now. Well, this intro was definitely… interesting…

Track 2: Shimmy Shimmy Ya

Shimmy Shimmy Ya

This beat is dope. I’m not really feelin’ this hook. The first verse was dope tho. What the hell? First a recording of part of the first verse started playing in reverse, and now he’s spitting the SAME verse again. It just ended… What the fuck was that? I mean, I liked the verse, but not THAT damn much. Jesus Christ… Did I get a fucked up version of this album or something? What the hell… Okay, apparently the music video and single version of this song has a second verse. Both versions repeat the same first verse tho. I don’t know what the hell he was thinking when he did that… I guess I should watch this video now to hear the second verse. ODB’s lip syncing in this video is completely off. What the hell? I think it’s playing a clip from the next song. The beat switched up and he said the title of the next track. What the fuck is happening? What the hell? The video just ended… I ain’t heard no damn extra verse. What the fuck… Am I being trolled right now? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the first track on ODB’s debut solo album is confusing the shit outta me… I guess I should just look up the single version. Oh shit… Oh shit? I guess it’s only the Vevo version of the music video that doesn’t have the extra verse. Whatever. This additional verse wasn’t worth all this confusion. I’m not really fuckin’ with this track to be honest. The beat got annoying as FUCK after a while, and I wasn’t feelin’ the hook either. At first I was gonna say that this track is decent, but I actually really didn’t like this shit at all. The fact that he recycled the first verse really hurt this track for me. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 3: Baby, C’mon

Wow. That was a pretty rough start. I was really not expecting to dislike the first song that much. Whatever. Hopefully this song is better. Okay, it’s starting now. This beat is dope. ODB’s goin’ in on the first verse right now. This is pretty dope. ODB obviously isn’t a lyricist, but his delivery and energy on the track really makes up for it. The hook is pretty simplistic, but I fuck with it. It’s just him chanting “Wu Tang” over and over again. The beat switches up for the next verse. He did his thing on the second verse. The way it ended was pretty weird tho. It would actually be pretty cool if someone looped his voice at the end of that verse and rapped over it. I don’t know who would do that tho. I fuck with this track. I really like the way the beat switched up after the hook, and ODB did his thing on the verses. This isn’t the greatest song I’ve ever heard, but I enjoyed it. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 4: Brooklyn Zoo (Prod. True Master & Ol’ Dirty Bastard)

Brooklyn Zoo

This is one of the songs that I’ve already heard. I don’t really remember anything about it tho. It’s starting now. Okay, this beat is dope af. This is easily the hardest, most gangsta shit I’ve ever heard from ODB lyrically. It’s a really aggressive track. There’s just one long ass verse, and then an outro. I don’t really have much to say about this track. It’s just a really dope verse over a dope beat. It’s kinda weird that the best beat on the album so far is the only one that the RZA wasn’t involved in. Lemme check this music video out real quick. Okay, this version has a different intro from the album version. Oh shit, this was sampled in Ruckus In B Minor, which was on Wu’s most recent LP, A Better Tomorrow. I’m glad that they sampled it from such an obscure song. Well, the song itself isn’t obscure, but the lines that they sampled are since they’re only in the music video version. You know what’s weird? I feel like that intro works better with Ruckus In B Minor than it does on this song. It just feels out of place on this track. I probably only feel that way since I heard Ruckus In B Minor before this. Whatever. The music video itself is nothing special to be honest. ODB’s delivery on this song doesn’t even sound like he’s rapping. It just sounds like an angry guy yelling over a dope beat, and his words just so happen to rhyme. That’s not really a bad thing tho ’cause it sounds dope. I don’t have any problems with this track. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 5: Hippa To Da Hoppa

This beat is really dope. The first verse was pretty good. The hook is really simplistic, but that’s probably a good thing since it doesn’t usually turn out very well when ODB tries to get too creative and sing a lot on the hook. The second verse was cool. “I keep my breath smelling like shit so I can get funky.” Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’d NEVER wanna be anywhere near ODB to be honest. I just feel like I would be super uncomfortable whenever he was around. Anyway, this is a dope song. I don’t really have much to say since the structure is real simple and nothing about it really stands out that much, but I definitely enjoyed it. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 6: Raw Hide Feat. Raekwon & Method Man

Okay, this should be good. The beat is dope. ODB’s goin’ in first. He killed it. I REALLY fuck with his verse on this song. This might actually be my favorite verse from him on the album so far. The hook from Meth was pretty good. Uh oh… ODB’s goin’ in again… PLEASE don’t tell me he only got Meth for the hook… Well, I guess it won’t be that big of a deal if Method Man doesn’t have a verse. I’m sure the other verses will still probably be dope. ODB’s second verse was really cool. It actually kinda made me wish that he was featured on that Gravediggaz album. Now that I think about… Why the fuck DIDN’T he have a feature on 6 Feet Deep? He would’ve fit in perfectly on that shit. I think he would’ve been able to do that style really well. Oh well. I guess that’s just something we’ll never get to see. Rae’s goin’ in now. He did his thing. Oh thank god. Meth’s goin’ in now. His verse was cool. I actually liked ODB’s verses the most tho if I’m bein’ honest. This is definitely one of my favorite songs on the album so far. I like the beat more and more every time I listen to this song. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 7: Damage Feat. GZA (Co-Prod. 4th Disciple, Ol’ Dirty Bastard & Ethan Ryman)

This beat is dope. ODB’s goin’ the fuck in right now. He’s killin’ this shit. Oh shit now GZA’s goin’ in. Okay, now ODB’s goin’ in. I guess they’re just trading bars on this track. That holocaust line was really fucked up… “You try to Jew me for a rhyme then I’ll change to Hitler.” Yeah… Nah… That was a pretty goddamn antisemitic line. I definitely could’ve did without that… The rest of this shit is really dope tho. I kinda wish GZA got a full verse, but what we got was better than nothing. Another gripe I had was how abrupt the ending of this track was, but it’s not that big of a deal. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 8: Don’t U Know Feat. Killah Priest

The long winded intro skit was kinda annoying, but that’s just a nitpick I guess. ODB’s actually telling a story in second person. This is weird as hell. Oh my FUCKING god. My dumbass just fast forwarded to the next song by accident. Fuck my life. Alright whatever. Lemme just start this shit over again. Okay, I’m back to where I was. Okay, it sounds like ODB just switched from 2nd person to 1st person. He’s rapping about how he was thirstin’ for this chick in his class. “I took out my books to write the notes for my class, but I / Kept fantasizing ’bout my dick in that ass.” This beat is nothing special. I don’t know if I like this one… ODB’s delivery is just a little too much for me on this one, and the story he’s telling isn’t particularly interesting to me. How the hell is Killah Priest gonna fit on this one? Maybe he just did a hook or something. ODB’s honestly annoying the shit outta me right now. His delivery is just a bit too over the top for me on this track, especially towards the end of the verse when he starts quoting the girl he was with. Okay, Killah Priest’s goin’ in now. I wasn’t really feelin’ ODB’s verse. Killah Priest did his thing I guess. I can tell just from that interlude that ODB was a ass eater. “I likes me a nasty bitch. Bitch that’s willing to do anything at any given time. Bitch gotta be nasty ’cause I’m a nasty nigga. I do anything, baby. I wouldn’t give a fuck what it was.” Yeah, anyone who talks like that has no problem eating ass. I’m not feelin’ this final verse from ODB. The following line was actually pretty funny tho. “Broke the rules that defined sex laws.” I’m not feelin’ this one. This is easily my least favorite song on the album. Honestly, if it weren’t for Killah Priest I would think this song was terrible. 2/5

Track 9: The Stomp (Co-Prod. 4th Disciple, Ol’ Dirty Bastard & Ethan Ryman)

This beat is nothing special to be honest. It’s pretty strange how the songs with a lot of co-producers have the most underwhelming beats. This whole song is just one long ass verse. The first part of the verse before the short break where he was talkin’ about tastin’ pussy was pretty bad to be honest. I like the second part where it gets harder and more gangsta tho. The song just ended… Nah… Nah, I’m not really feelin’ this one. I don’t think it’s that bad, but I didn’t really enjoy it that much. The beat was basic as hell, and ODB just didn’t really do much for me. It’s a decent track tho. 3/5

Track 10: Goin’ Down

This intro is annoying as hell. Okay, the song’s actually starting now. This beat is dope af. Huh… It sounded like ODB was gonna rap at first, but he’s kinda just talking. Have y’all ever heard Puffin’ On Blunts & Drankin’ Tanqueray by Dr. Dre? You remember that long ass intro where Dr. Dre’s is just talking? That’s kinda what ODB is doin’ right now. Oh, okay, he’s goin’ in now. The first verse was dope af. Now his wife his roasting him while he sings Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Okay, he’s rapping again now. The final verse was cool I guess. Hmm… You know, I’d probably fuck with this song if it weren’t for that long ass intro and all the interludes where people are just talking. When I listen to this song I feel like I’m just hangin’ out with ODB, and there happens to be a beat playin’ in the background, so he decided to freestyle a few short verses. It was kinda cool for the first listen, but it’s not something that I’d ever have to desire to play again. It’s decent tho. 3/5

Track 11: Drunk Game (Sweet Sugar Pie) [Co-Prod. 4th Disciple, Ol’ Dirty Bastard & Ethan Ryman]

This beat is dope. What the fuck, man… This is just difficult to listen to… ODB’s singing right now, and… I mean, it’s kinda funny I guess, but I wouldn’t EVER wanna hear this shit again. I don’t like love songs in the first place, so even if he was rapping on this shit I probably wouldn’t like it. What the FUUUCK. Am I listening to Ol’ Dirty Bastard bust a nut right now? WHY THE FUCK WOULD ANYONE WANNA LISTEN TO THIS SHIT??? Oh HELL nah. I’m sorry, but this shit is fuckin’ terrible. This is seriously a torturous song for me. This shit is wack af. 1/5

Track 12: Snakes Feat. Killah Priest, RZA, Masta Killa & Buddha Monk

Alright, this album is going downhill fast, but this should be a dope song. Hopefully he can bounce back with this one. It’s starting now. This beat is dope. Killah Priest’s on the first verse. He did his thing. He told a story about how his cousin got shot. The second verse from RZA was really dope. Masta Killa wasn’t even trying to rhyme the first four bars in his verse. It gets better as the verse progresses tho. ODB’s goin’ in now… Yeah, alright I’m getting really tired of ODB… I wasn’t feelin’ his verse at all. His style was kind of a cool gimmick at first, but it’s really getting old now… Buddha Monk had a really short verse, but I liked it. I fuck with this song. I don’t think it’s the best song on the album or anything, but I enjoyed it. It was nice to hear some more coherent bars from people like RZA & Killah Priest. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 13: Brooklyn Zoo II (Tiger Crane) Feat. Ghostface Killah

Alright, this should be great. I’m really looking forward to Ghostface’s verse. I can’t wait ’til I get to Ironman & Supreme Clientele. I’m pretty sure Ghost is my favorite Wu member. I really like INS too tho. Also GZA. Okay, it’s starting now. This beat is pretty dope. What the hell… ODB’s recycling the verse from Damage… Well, he’s TRYING to… He keeps spitting the first couple of bars and then starting over. What the fuck, man… Why did he do this? ODB’s delivery on Damage was more tolerable than it is on this song, but this song has the Ghostface feature. Ghost killed his verse too. What the fuck… Now a sample of the hook from Baby C’mon is playing… What the FUCK? Now there’s a sample of the original Brooklyn Zoo… There was also a sample of Drunk Game, The Stomp & Damage too. No. No, I can’t fuck with this one. Honestly, the only reason I’m not calling this shit wack is because I fuck with the beat and Ghost’s verse was dope af. 3/5

Track 14: Proteck Ya Neck II The Zoo Feat. Brooklyn Zu, Prodigal Sunn, Killah Priest & 60 Second Assassin

This beat is dope af. I think this intro was sampled on A Better Tomorrow, but I may be mistaken. Buddha Monk did his thing on the first verse. He only had like four bars tho. Prodigal Sunn’s verse was dope. Raison The Zu Keeper didn’t really have a verse. He just kinda took up space by making random noises… Murdoc did his thing. He spit 4 bars just like Buddha Monk. This is actually really dope. This shit is hard as fuck. Killah Priest’s verse was good. Wow. 12 O’Clock just said that he’s “soon to be paid like Donald Trump.” You know, I really wish rappers didn’t use to dickride Donald Trump without actually knowing who he was. It’s not like Donald Trump JUST started saying offensive shit when he began his presidential campaign. It’s not that big of a deal tho. 12 O’Clock’s verse was cool. Shorty Shitstain—great name by the way—had a decent verse. ODB’s goin’ in now. His verse was dope. 60 Second Assassin did his thing on the last verse. I enjoyed this song. I’m obviously not blown away by anything that happened on this track, but it was entertaining enough. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 15: Cuttin’ Headz Feat. RZA

This beat kinda sounds like an altered version of Clan In Da Front. RZA & ODB are tradin’ bars on the first verse. This is dope. ODB’s delivery is actually really… uh… It’s really toned down. I guess he just didn’t feel like acting crazy for this song. The song just ended. Huh. This is easily the most normal song on the whole album. It kinda felt more like RZA featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard tho. That might be why. The beat was kinda underwhelming, and the sample that the RZA looped for the hook is annoying as hell. I still enjoyed this shit tho. I liked the verses. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 16: Dirty Dancin’ Feat. Method Man

I actually kinda like this skit at the beginning. It’s only tolerable because the beat is playing in the background. It sounds like Meth laced ODB’s blunt or something. Why is this skit running into the first verse? I’m not tryna hear ODB moaning in the background of this verse… God. The way this whole album is edited is annoying as fuck. Why the hell is the first verse panned to the right? Please don’t tell me the whole song is like this…Method Man sounds awesome over this beat. This really just feels like a Method Man song with ad-libs from ODB. Well, ODB did spit a few bars, but not nearly as much as Method Man. I fuck with this song, but it’s not amazing. It’s just another dope track. Meth’s bars were panned to the right, and ODB was panned to the left. It was kinda annoying at first, but after a few seconds I got used to it. This song is dope. 4/5

Track 17: Harlem World (Prod. Big Dore)

This beat is dope. ODB’s singing right now, and I actually don’t really mind it. It fits over this beat pretty well. I hope he doesn’t sing the whole song tho… Okay, he’s rapping now. Dude is barely rhyming on this shit… Hmm… He starts rapping differently about halfway through the song. It’s like the first part was just a super long winded intro. He’s actually rhyming now. Damn… He’s honestly killin’ this shit. This is a really aggressive verse lyrically. I could’ve done without that F bomb, but aside from that this is really dope. It sounds like this is something he would spit in one of those rap battles that RZA made the Wu-Tang members compete in to decide who would get on the 36 Chambers album. He killed this shit. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

This album is dope. It’s easily the wackest classic album I’ve ever reviewed, but it’s still pretty good. Things started getting a little sinister towards the middle section of this album, but he picked it back up at the end. I can only tolerate Ol’ Dirty Bastard in small doses, so the long stretches with no features were pretty rough. This was just a really difficult album to review. At points it was hard to tell if what I was criticizing was actually meant to be enjoyed as part of a full song. The intros and outros to a lot of these songs are borderline unbearable. A lot of times when I was listening to this album, I felt like I was listening to the audio of one of them dumb ass Scary Movie films. I know that sounds kinda harsh, but ODB really made me feel that that. Some of these songs feel like the musical equivalent of Scary Movie. I got the most enjoyment out of this album when ODB was just rapping over a dope beat without trying to be too eccentric. When the songs were structured normally everything went pretty well for the most part. I mean, it’s definitely different. This album has a lot of personality. It just kinda felt like he was focusing too much on trying to stand out instead of trying to make good music that people would actually enjoy listening to. It’s still a good album tho. I enjoyed it. Just not as much as I wanted to.

Favorite Song: Brooklyn Zoo

Least Favorite Song: Drunk Game

Verdict:

71%

70-79

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One comment

  1. Out of all the Wu solo joints, I tend to skip Dirty’s because it’s nonsensical rambling that people over hype due to nostalgia when in reality they were half decent efforts. Though if you ask various conspiracy nutjobs Dirt like Pimp C was a misunderstood genius killed by “The Man” because he threatened to expose the Gay/Jewish conspiracy in Hip Hop (though that’s a whoooooooooooooooole ‘nother discussion for a different time lol.) Almost before I forget if I remember correctly 12 ‘O Clock is Dirt’s younger brother (they had an appearance on the Tales From The Hood soundtrack that was alright to say the least, as well as Deck with a solo joint that was mistakenly credited as a Clan song that starts off the soundtrack.)

    Sidenote: RZA and Trump are/were BFF’S because ole Orange Face needed street cred I suppose and Bobby wanting to establish himself as business man or something.

    Good job kid

    Liked by 1 person

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