Guest Star: "When I Shot ODB, He [Seemed] Like He Wasn't All The Way There"

Monday, Nov 15, 2010 3:40PM

Written by SOHH for Mike Schreiber

[With today marking late rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard's 42nd birthday, photographer Mike Schreiber takes us behind the lens of his 2003 shoot with the Wu-Tang Clan emcee.]

When I shot ODB, it was right after he got out of jail [in 2003, convicted of drug possession] and he was like really quiet. Like, kind of out of it. He [seemed] like he wasn't all the way there, but he just seemed off. He wasn't fully, I don't even know how to describe it. It was almost like, off.

His camp was trying to film a reality show for him for MTV and actually, the close-up of him smiling in my picture is on the Staten Island ferry. The photo editor for XXL was like, "You need to come up with a concept," and I don't really do concepts, so I decided to go out in front of the Statue of Liberty.

So I went to the bathroom on the ferry and I noticed there was really great lighting [there] and I was like, "Yo, can I take a couple pictures of you by the bathroom?" He was cool [with it]. He smiled and I think that was the only time he smiled all day.

It was really just like a moment. The reason I like this picture so much is because [in] so many ODB pictures, he's like a cartoon character. He's like "crazy ODB." I like [this] because you can really see the humanity and yeah, he was an intelligent dude. But you know, he had issues and then when he died, I wasn't a hundred percent surprised. He really seemed out of it, like he wasn't taking care of himself.

Mike Schreiber is a renowned photographer who has snapped shots for multiple publications and captured images of artists including Nas, Styles P, Biz Markie, M.I.A., Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Young Jeezy and more.

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