Ol’ Dirty Bastard of the Wu-Tang Clan has always been one of rap’s most colorful figures. The popularity of his polysyllabic, voices-in-his-head rhymes has been matched by his offstage notoriety. Born Russell Jones, he redefines the world “wild,” fathering more than a dozen kids and wallowing in drugs and alcohol. These addictions caused him to be arrested six times during the 1990s. In 2000, his fast life abruptly ended when he was finally jailed for walking out of a mandated drug treatment center. (Authorities nabbed the rapper after a month on the lam, during which he baited police by furtively popping up onstage at a Wu-Tang concert.)

For two and half years, ODB sat alone in a cell at the Clinton Correction Facility in upstate New York. As a celebrity, he was a magnet for other violent inmates who assaulted him. He no longer had the comforts of his addictions and realized that his so-called friends never came up to visit him. His nightmare ended May 1, 2003 when he was finally granted parole.

Can ODB keep his addictions at bay and get his music career back on track? VH1 News takes an intimate journey with ODB on parole, watching the rapper rebuild his life. We’ll document how ODB’s joyous prison departure immediately leads back into rap’s center stage with a gala press conference to announce a lucrative record deal with rap label Roc-A-Fella Records. Even diva (and old friend) Mariah Carey attends. Less than twelve hours later, though, ODB is alone once again, taking a drug test for his parole officer. While his fans and the music industry waits for the next Dirty hit, will he still be able to compose his singular raps without the inspiration from his old bad habits?

In this special, ODB will also confront the tug between work and family life. Relations are strained with Wu-Tang Clan, whose members also happen to be his cousins. Can ODB resolve his contract disputes? While ODB has the affection of his loyal girlfriend Raquel, temptations are everywhere for a famous rapper. Will his beloved mother approve of the new company he keeps?

Dirty also entrusts an aspiring manager to roll out products like a new clothing line, which creates a conflict of interest with his own record label Roc-A-Fella. We’ll also follow ODB as he nervously takes the stage for the first time in three years. On Parole with ODB provides unparalleled access and insight to the raucous world of one of rap’s most memorable personalities.

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