Ol’ Dirty Bastard passed away far before his time back in 2004. As with most artists who die (relatively) young, ODB left behind some work we never got to hear. But the deceased Wu-Tang Clan man is definitely the first artist to posthumously release music on a Bluetooth speaker.
That snazzy speaker above is the limited edition Ol’ Dirty Bastard Boombotix Rex (woo! mouthful!), which costs $80 (that's around £52). In addition to a virtually indestructible Bluetooth speaker, you also get a never-before-heard ODB track, Obey Me, produced by fellow Wu-Tang Clan member and beatmaster RZA. It’s not a download: it’s right there, loaded on the speaker. (There are two additional remix tracks loaded on the Rex as well.)
So there’s some back story here. Last year, RZA teamed up with Boombotix to start creating licensed products, including a special edition model commemorating Wu-Tang’s latest record A Better Tomorrow. I spoke to RZA back in January about how these little speakers could be a new physical distribution method for music — especially in an era where there’s next to no incentive to buy digital tracks, let alone physical media like CDs.
Privately, RZA’s been hinting all along that some ODB material might someday make its way on to a Boombotix speaker, and he’s proving on that now. Is the song any good? I have no idea! You need to buy the speaker to find out. Or wait until the track inevitably makes its way to another distribution method.
Boombotix, by the way, isn’t just some rubbish speaker manufacturer. The company has been making very loud, very rugged speakers for years. They’re popular among cyclists who clip the speakers to their bags. You can drop this thing and leave it out in the rain and it will be totally fine.
The limited edition Boombotix Rex is exclusive to the retailer Zumiez, and it is available for pre-order now (eventual delivery to the UK costs $20, or around £13). In general, these special releases have been very popular, so if you’re thinking, “yes, I need an Ol’ Dirty Bastard limited edition speaker in my life,” now’s the time to act.