Free to Be Dirty: Live! [DVD]

by: Ol' Dirty Bastard

For a man who claims to "like it raw," Free to Be Dirty: Live! is rather tame affair by Ol' Dirty Bastard. It's the music that keeps things medium, since ODB's DJ isn't given much to do. He occasionally drops the volume and scratches just a tad. Often backing tracks play out in entirety, or at worst, completed tracks from Dirty's albums are played for the Bastard to sing over. Now how do you expect to be all the way live with that laziness? Of course, the legend himself is always worth watching because his next freak-out could be just moments away and you could stare into his eyes forever and not figure out what's going on in there. His in-between song banter sounds like an especially spaced-out Grady from Sanford & Son, and he comes alive during the hits, feeding off the enthusiastic audience. His Brooklyn Zoo crew are decent cheerleaders, and the short show is just long enough. What you really want to check is the excellent extra "documentary" on the DVD, a montage of ODB doing his thing on the street and laying that "interesting" viewpoint on you. His incongruous comments on his favorite part of a woman and the fall of the Wu-Tang deserve a couple rewinds. Plus, seeing how ODB is coaxed into a knockout performance while in the studio is a great, rare glimpse into hip-hop production from behind the scenes. You'll walk away thinking he's more "crazy" than "crazy like a fox," but how can you not love a man who claims crackheads and hoes are his muse? The extras vary in quality -- no doubt due to the source material -- but the concert is crystal clear and recorded at the perfectly laid-out Toad's Place in New Haven, CT. ~ David Jeffries

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