Endless Loop: Shimmy Shimmy Ya

odbHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Shimmy Shimmy Ya” by Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Popular music very handily lends itself to broad strokes of characterization for its artists, its icons, its all too fallible gods and goddesses. Fairly or unfairly as it may be, many musicians either fall into or are assigned these roles for easy media consumption. Of course these rolls are overly simplistic and redundant, the kind of recurring slates we can project ourselves onto over and over again. Someone gets me. Someone understands. And as much as I can relate to, or be moved or inspired by the tortured artist or the world weary traveler, the sardonic smartass or the alien, there’s just something about the clown that draws me in every time. From Keith Moon to David Lee Roth to Liam Gallagher and beyond, the befuddled, often booze-soaked troubadours of revelry and irreverence never cease to garner my attention or make me smile. That’s probably why Ol’ Dirty Bastard was always my favorite member of the Wu-Tang Clan (Ghostface Killah is a close second).

Ol’ Dirty Bastard, or ODB, or Big Baby Jesus, or Russell Jones if you will, had a mush-mouthed delivery style to his verses that gave him the air of a slurred and bemused drunk. His incorporation of poorly half-sung bits only added to that allusion. Over the course of his tumultuous career, the rapper was arrested on multiple occasions, did a couple of prison stints, and smoked a lot of crack cocaine. He recorded an unintelligible track for the Insane Clown Posse that had to be re-recorded and re-edited in order to make some kind of coherent sense of his unintelligible rambling. He once visited a welfare office in New York in a limousine to cash a check and pick up some food stamps. And then, like so many of his pop cultural forebears before him, he overdosed and died young.

He also once helped save a four-year old girl from a car accident and frequently visited her in the hospital, so just maybe he was more than the chronically intoxicated cartoon character he portrayed to the masses.

Anyway, “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” from 1995’s Return to the 36 Chambers, is still a damn fun song.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>