Ol' Dirty Bastard

Osirus: The Official Mixtape

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Listening to Osirus -- the posthumous "official mixtape" released with the blessings of the late ODB's manager and mother -- is as bittersweet an experience as you can get. Maybe it's not as hot as the slew of street-level mixtapes that have surfaced since ODB passed, but they've got the advantage of flying under the radar and grabbing whatever unlicensed classic, freestyle, or blend they want. What those bootlegs won't expose you to is how on fire Dirty was before it all came to a halt and how ready he was to take the hip-hop world over once again. Kicking off with the bouncy and Roc-A-Fella propping party tune "Pop Shots," Osirus causes a lot of excitement from the get go, and while the third and fourth quarter filler brings it down a bit, you can't help but note that the Bastard hasn't been this driven since Nigga Please. He wants it all back, bad. The great DJ Premier's helmed cut gives way to perfect party jam number two, "Dirty Dirty," overseen by producer Mark Ronson, who combines that good old jaunty piano ODB loves so much with a rock-solid beat and funky organ. The rapper delivers one classic line over the track, boasting and bragging, more on point than obtuse. "High in the Clouds" with Black Rob and "Dirty Run" with it's uncredited sample of Bowie's "Fame" round out the highlights and while they're all upfront, the lesser tracks towards the end trump anything on The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones. You can talk about Dirty's crazy past all you want, but Osirus is entirely pointed toward the future. Tragic the man won't get to see those Wu-heads bobbin' and digging his wicked return to form.

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