Open Mike Eagle on Ol Dirty Bastard's "Return to the 36 Chambers" (1995)

Open Mike Eagle on Ol Dirty Bastard's "Return to the 36 Chambers" (1995)


The Album: Ol Dirty Bastard: Return to the 36 Chambers (1995)

"Ain't no father to his style." That's how Ol Dirty Bastard was introduced to the world on 1993's Enter the 36 Chambers by hip-hop's posse supreme, the Wu Tang Clan. At the time, we got an inkling of ODB's eccentricity but on that first Wu album, so overloaded with personalities, it was hard to pluck him out of the stream and think "he might be the Clan's most memorable talent" but two years later, sandwiched between a stream of solo efforts by Method Man, the GZA, Raekwon and Ghostface, ODB put the world on notice with Return to the 36 Chambers. Here was Big Baby Jesus aka Dirt McGirt in all his weird, wonderful glory, with a raspy, rumbling voice that was like no other, singing and rapping in a way that was either wholly unhinged, creatively brilliant or perhaps, both.

These are the part of the mysteries that we tried to unpack with the help of Open Mike Eagle. He's no stranger to Max Fun listeners as OME is half the team behind Tights and Fights, when he's not also helping host the Secret Skin or Conversation Parade podcasts. He also, of course, is a prolific MC himself, with well over a dozen EPs and LPs to his name including last year's What Happens When I Try to Relax. As you'll hear, Return to the 36 Chambers wasn't just OME's intro to Dirt Dog, it was how he discovered the Wu and he, and hip-hop, would forever be changed.

More on Open Mike Eagle

"Open Mike Eagle on the Economics of Being an Indie Rapper" (Pitchfork) Interview with Billboard about What Happens When I Try To Relax Website | Twitter |Bandcamp

More on Return to the 36 Chambers

"Return To The 36 Chambers reinvented the solo record in its eccentric creator’s image" (AV Club) Album review (Focus Hip Hop) "9 Things You Probably Didn't Know" about Return to the 36 Chambers (Highsnobiety)

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Return to the 36 Chambers unless indicated otherwise):

Shimmy Shimmy Ya Intro Brooklyn Zoo GZA: Investigative Reports Hippa to da Hoppa Thelonius Monk: Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are Cuttin' Headz Raw Hide Brooklyn Zoo Shimmy Shimmy Ya Goin' Down

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there.

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