Back in 1997, Ol Dirty Bastard was having a moment. The Staten Island rapper wasn’t even 30 yet, but he had a platinum solo record under his belt and his group’s just-released double album, Wu-Tang Forever, was a critical and commercial smash. When Ian Gold, a 23-year-old stock broker and Wu-Tang fanboy, got ahold of ODB’s personal telephone number, he dialed-up the rapper “as a goof,” and they ended up shooting the shit for a few hilarious minutes. The resulting conversation, sent by Gold to FADER, was less about investing in the stock market and more about Wu-Tang Forever, the meaning behind some of Ol Dirty’s scandalous metaphors and the true definition of “firewater.”
“I have no clue why he kept me on the phone,” says Gold of cold-calling the legend. “I guess he liked bantering with me.” Gold taped the call, but it didn’t actually surface until recently, 16 years after it was recorded and nearly a decade since the rapper’s fatal overdose in 2004. A friend of Gold’s stumbled upon a copy of the tape in his childhood home in Maryland, unearthing a brief, candid glimpse into the psyche of the hip-hop icon. More than that, it’s hard evidence that meeting (or speaking with) your heroes doesn’t always have to be a let down. Dirty: Platinum Edition, a feature-length documentary about ODB, was set to be released last month, but the Brooklyn premiere was shut down due to an order from the attorney in charge of the late rapper’s estate. Total bummer.