Much of the last two months were spent working on this feature for The Quietus: Keepin' It Dirty: A celebration of ODB's Return to the 36 Chambers. The idea was to do something that hadn't been done before.
It's a profile of the rapper as an artist, setting aside the controversies he's best known for, and features perspectives from those who knew him best as well as a reflection on a chance encounter I once had with the man himself.
Apart from being the longest article I've ever written (almost 4,500 words), it also proved to be one of the most challenging. Contacting various representatives for all nine surviving Wu-Tang Clan members became a daily test of patience and persistence. Given that the piece had no promotional slant, this involved many cold calls and unanswered emails.
Eventually I ended up with a cast comprising Wu members Raekwon and Cappadonna, Buddha Monk (ODB's close friend, who also mixed the album), producer 4th Disciple (who was present for much of the album's creation), Peanut Butter Wolf (head of Stones Throw Records), Ethan Ryman (who worked on the album as an engineer) as well as ODB's mother!
The response has been amazing. Hopefully this goes some way to challenging the myths and misconceptions that have surrounded Dirty since his death. I should add a sincere thanks to all those who facilitated the process and contributed to the end result.