RETURN TO THE 36 CHAMBERS: THE DIRTY VERSION was nominated for a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. "I'll grab the mic and I'll damage ya," boasts Ol' Dirty Bastard on his debut. Along with his producer, The RZA, the man with no father to his style has crafted a fine record, both solid and experimental--a Wu-Tang Clan solo project that can stand alongside the group's groundbreaking album. Whether crooning "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" mid-song or speaking in tongues, ODB constantly stretches the limits of what an MC sounds like. He'll damage your sensibilities, perhaps even your speakers--but remember, no pain no gain. The success of hip-hop albums often rests on the character of a rapper; and though Ol' Dirty Bastard may not have the pure skills of Method Man, his persona is as complex as it gets. "The reason why I curse is cause my momma and daddy, they grew up cursing, so please respect my style," he states, demonstrating awareness of his image. The image is important: a staggering, foul-mouthed street urchin, ODB balances his braggadacio with humility (at least twice, he thanks us for listening). He explodes mid-sentence with exclamations, repeatedly punctuating his "Brooklyn Zoo" with a menacing "What?!" He may be unpredictable, but for the most part he's good-natured. For fans of the Wu, this is a must have, truly a RETURN TO THE 36 CHAMBERS. But ODB is not just filling the void until the next Wu-Tang album; he is making the case that if The Genius is the Clan's head and Method Man its heart, Ol' Dirty Bastard is its sex drive and funny bone.