Upon Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s death last month, his manager insisted that the rapper had been living a drug-free life. But the results of his autopsy, announced Wednesday by the New York Medical Examiner’s Office, cite as the cause of death an overdose of cocaine and the prescription painkiller Tramadol. The office has ruled the Wu-Tang Clan rapper’s death an accident, according to wire service reports.
ODB (real name: Russell Jones) died Nov. 13, two days shy of his 36th birthday, at a Manhattan recording studio after complaining of chest pains and collapsing. He’d had a long history of drug problems and drug-related legal charges. In 2000, he notoriously appeared on stage at a Wu-Tang Clan concert days after being declared a fugitive for walking out of his court-ordered stay in rehab. He was ultimately arrested and charged with violating his probation on drug charges, and when he was finally freed in 2003, he declared himself drug-free and set about recording a solo album. Those recordings remain in limbo, but ODB’s manager and his mother have pledged to release in January a mixtape of the songs he was working on in the weeks before his death.