As expected, Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard (real name: Russell Jones) was sentenced in a Queens, N.Y., courtroom today (July 18) to two to four years in prison, after having pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in April. State Supreme Court judge Joseph A. Grosso recommended that correction authorities determine whether Jones needs treatment for psychiatric disorders or substance abuse.
Sentencing in the case had been delayed countless times, including yesterday, when Jones showed up in court with a bandage on his wrist. He was placed under suicide watch until today’s hearing, and remains in a Queens County correctional facility, according to a police department spokesperson.
Jones will not face additional jail time for his failure to appear in court last October after he escaped from a court-ordered stay at a drug rehab clinic in Pasadena, Calif. The following month, the rapper shocked the hip-hop community by appearing onstage at the release party for the Wu-Tang clan’s “The W” album. Less than a week later, he was apprehended in the parking lot of a Philadelphia fast-food restaurant.
Today’s sentence stems from a March 1999 incident when police found crack cocaine and marijuana on Jones while investigating his vehicle during a stop for a traffic violation. The rapper’s list of legal troubles is lengthy, including a not-guilty verdict on charges of attempted murder, weapons possession, and assault, stemming from a January 1999 shooting.
As previously reported, Elektra is planning an Aug. 21 release for the hits package “Free Dirty.” ODB can also be heard on his Wu-Tang Clan colleague RZA’s forthcoming album “Digital Bullet,” due Aug. 14 on In the Paint/Koch, as well as on “Urban Renewal,” a German-only Phil Collins tribute album.