Autopsy: Rapper O.D.B. Had Drug Overdose
NEW YORK – The death of rapper O.D.B. (search) was deemed an accident by the medical examiner, who said Wednesday that he died from the combined effects of cocaine and a prescription painkiller.
O.D.B., whose legal name was Russell Jones, died at a Manhattan recording studio Nov. 13.
He died "as a result of intoxication by the combined effects of cocaine and Tramadol, a prescription painkiller but not a narcotic," said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner's office.
"The manner of death is an accident," she added.
O.D.B. complained of chest pains before collapsing at the studio, and was dead by the time paramedics reached him. He was just days short of his 36th birthday.
O.D.B., also known as Ol' Dirty Bastard (search), was a founding member of the rap group the Wu-Tang Clan (search).
With his unorthodox delivery — alternately slurred, hyper and nonsensical — O.D.B. stood out even in the nine-man Clan, and as a solo artist he released hit singles such as "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and "Got Your Money."
He had been working on his comeback album for more than a year and was almost finished.
O.D.B. was the latest in a string of rappers to meet an untimely death, among them Jam Master Jay of Run DMC, who was fatally shot in late 2002, and Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, who were both shot to death in the late 1990s. Those killings remain unsolved.