God and ODB Are Alike

“Shimmy shimmy yah, shimmy yam, shimmy yay…Give me the mic before I take it away!”-God. You can’t tell me that isn’t how God operates.

God has been imagined and depicted as everything from a sun with rays as hands as Aten in Kemet,  a cross between fit Santa Claus and White Jesus with a longer beard, and probably most accurately as a feminine essence. If asked how I envision the Elohim, He looks like Russell Tyrone Jones. In my opinion, that is God in a nutshell: while we call him everything from Gomar Oz Dubar and other regal monikers, His real name would be Russell Tyrone Jones.

A lot of people didn’t get Ol’ Dirty Bastard; he was a walking contradiction and owned it. On the surface, he seemed brash, outlandishly unaware, and out-of-his-mind intoxicated. He was Ason Unique of the Nation of Gods and Earths, in which their belief is the Asiatic Black Man is God. On Wu-Tang Clan’s “Triumph,” he said the Osiris: god of fertility, alcohol, agriculture, death and resurrection, and backed up his claim and informed the world “Wu-Tang is here forever.” We didn’t take him seriously. He placated to others and made a caricature of himself as Ol’ Dirty Bastard, a Poor Righteous Teacher whose unorthodox rhyme style had no father. While 85% of the world laughed at him, he laughed back at the deaf, dumb, and blind.

To conduct an interview for national television with your wife and children in a limousine to collect welfare is hilariously bold and brazen. It is also a brilliant way to display the little-known secret in which more famous artists are closer to relying on government assistance to get by instead of the lavish façade they portrayed.

Anyone who had intimate encounters only speaks of Ason in praise. Pras of the Fugees told the story of how his hit song “Ghetto Superstar” came about. ODB drunkenly walked into his studio session, thinking it was his own until he was told otherwise. Dirty asked if he could be on the song and the emcee known as Dirty Cash-not to be confused with Dirt McGirt-obliged. McGirt walked into the booth and hollered off-pitch notes that sounded like a drunk man singing. “Keep that and give me another track,” ODB ordered. During the second take, he grunted adlibs over the recording of his singing, leaving Prakazrel and company confused. Dirt Dog demanded a third and final track. In one take, Russell Jones raps his verse and immediately leaves the session. Pras, member of a group whose last album sold 16 million copies, was blown away. What seemed like incoherent noise and foolishness was someone who had their formula down to a science, created the song backwards…and it was Pras’ only hit as a solo artist.

That’s exactly how God works. Osiris lived up to his name by resurrecting Mariah Carey’s career, too.

Personally, I think the way God talks to me can be paralleled to “Brooklyn Zoo.” He will create silence so I can hear Him mumble “But you won’t let me love you.” He knows more often than not, I will disregard this whisper where He directly told me His objective. He’ll grab my attention with something-kind of like a piano sample of Bob Ellis’ “Step Softly”-that lets me know He’s coming. And through his gold-fanged teeth-which sounds like a biblical description of God-yells “YEAAH! HAHAHAHAHA!”

A little confused but aware of His presence, God comes in and makes his grand introduction “Party people all around the town! It’s the O-D-B, kid (Shame on you!)! Once again, coming to your area! And I’m gon’ tell you one time: You gone LOOOOOOOOOOVE THIS!”

Okay, God, You got my attention.

“I’m the one man army, Ason! I’ve never been tooken out. I keep emcee’s lookin’ out!” God will then remind me who He is and how He “keeps planets in orbit.”

Up until this moment, you probably thought “Brooklyn Zoo” was a hodgepodge of silly noises, curse words, and obnoxiousness for the sake of obnoxiousness. Listen to the lyrics and imagine God talking to you. It’s just like that.

And just when you think He’s done, God repeatedly yells and refers to a mythical Brooklyn Zoo! There is no Brooklyn Zoo. There’s the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn.  But as a New York Native, I can’t tell you one person who has ever been there. Let me tell it, God would call Heaven the Brooklyn Zoo.

I do believe my relationship with God is one riddled with dry humor and inside jokes. My sense of humor is my coping mechanism of choice and He uses this to communicate to and through me. There aren’t too many situations I can’t find something in it to laugh about. To make a small quip helps me belittle an overwhelming feeling or experience into something manageable. God knows this and shows me these little quirks and after a little snicker, I’ll say “Thank you, God.”

Life is a series of contradictions and ironic twists and turns, orchestrated by a divine ethos. The purpose of our limited time on earth is to channel our circumstances as contributions for to make the world a better place. I’ve spent years turning my life’s experiences into [hopefully] insightful words others see themselves in. I could continue to pontificate, expound, and wax poetic about how and why in beautifully worded verbiage to get my point across…or just yell “Wu-Tang is for the children!” and it’ll stick with you a little longer.

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