BOOK EXCERPT: Ol' Dirty Bastard's infamous arrest at a Grays Ferry McDonald's

Please note: This article is published as an archive copy from Philadelphia City Paper. My City Paper is not affiliated with Philadelphia City Paper. Philadelphia City Paper was an alternative weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The last edition was published on October 8, 2015.

"Chill, chill, they not looking for you—it's McDonald's. The police eat at McDonald's!"

BOOK EXCERPT: Ol' Dirty Bastard's infamous arrest at a Grays Ferry McDonald's

A new book on Ol' Dirty Bastard — the late rapper best known for his work with the Wu Tang Clan — was just released by Dey Street Books. The Dirty Version, by Buddha Monk and Mickey Hess, is an eye-witness account about the life and times of the larger-than-life character. So of course there's something in there about ODB's infamous arrest at the Grays Ferry McDonald's in 2000. Here's an excerpt, printed with permission.


  • The whole thing started when ODB decided he needed a Filet-O- Fish
  • The arresting officer recognized him from her son's Wu Tang posters
  • The police found out he was there when a cashier called a radio station

ODB, there was nobody like you. ...

Dirty was in the passenger seat. Chief and Merdoc was in the back.

Blunt was driving. They went to Philly to pick up the car, but the car wasn’t ready. Blunt had ordered some specialty lights and they weren’t hooked up right or something. Blunt started to get into it with his man at the auto shop for calling him to come pick up the car when the car wasn’t ready. And Dirty started getting paranoid. Blunt was gonna wait for the car. Dirty didn’t want to wait. He said, “Fuck this. Take me home. Take me back to Jersey.”

“Dirty, just wait here like half an hour. You was the one who wanted to come with us.”

“Fuck that. Nah. I don’t like this shit. Take me home.”

Finally Blunt got tired of arguing with him and said, “Fuck it. Let’s go.” And they got in the car. The shop was on Washington near Grays Ferry Avenue. Grays Ferry goes straight to the Walt Whitman Bridge to get them home to Jersey. But Dirty said, “Yo, Blunt, I gotta piss.”

“Fuck. We’ll just wait till we get across the damn bridge. We’ll be in Jersey in a minute.”

“No. I can’t wait, I can’t wait.”

So Blunt pulled into a McDonald’s.

They walked in and instead of heading straight for the bathroom, Dirty said, “Damn, G, I ain’t had a fish filet sandwich in a minute.”

Blunt said, “Damn. Go to the bathroom. Let me order some food. Just go to the bathroom, and get your ass back in the car. I’m not with all this stopping.”

Dirty went to the bathroom. Blunt stood in line to order the food. After a minute he saw Dirty walk past, so he thought he’d gone back to the car. Blunt placed the order and looked over and there was Dirty standing at the counter. Blunt already ordered the food but Dirty’s try¬ing to pay for it. “Yo, lemme get the food, Blunt.” A couple little chicks in line at McDonald’s saw him and were like, “Oh my God, Ol’ Dirty Bastard!”

And Dirty put on this real deep voice and said, “Nah, nah, that ain’t me. That ain’t me.”

Blunt said, “What the fuck is you doin’?” He pushed his ass out the door.

Dirty was yelling, “Where’s my food? Where’s my Filet-O-Fish?”

“Get your ass to the car. I’ll get it, man. I’ll get it.”

The McDonald’s workers finally got Blunt his order. He walked out and saw Dirty standing in the drive-through. On his way back to the car he’d done seen some chick, so he was trying to talk to her through her car window.

Blunt was standing there with a McDonald’s sack in his hand. “What the fuck is you doing, Unique?”

Chief was back at the car screaming, “Unique, we got the food. Come on!”

“Hold on, hold on. I’ma get her number.”

“We got to go! We got to go.”

Blunt looked to the right and saw a cop car. He knew that if Dirty saw that cop car he was going to lose it. “Chief, help me get him in the fucking car.”

Chief and Blunt grabbed him but here came another cop car. And an¬other cop car. Dirty looked at Blunt and said, “Yo, G, what, you call the police on me, K-Blunt?”

“What the fuck I’m gonna call the police on you for? Let’s get out of here!”

Dirty ran but he looked back at the girl in the drive-through. “Yo, Chief, get her number for me!”

They shoved him in the car. He was freaked out. Irie was trying to settle him down. “Chill, chill, they not looking for you—it’s McDonald’s. The police eat at McDonald’s!” Blunt put the car in reverse, and as soon as he started to back up he saw a police car come in trying to block them in. The cop was pointing at him. Blunt turned real quick, swung back toward the drive-through, but a cop car pulled right in front of him on that side too. So he went over the median.

Dirty was hittin’ him from the backseat. “Go, go, motherfucker!”

As soon as he pulled into the street, two cop cars blocked him in. There was a helicopter in the sky. The cops had their guns out. Blunt rolled the window down. The cop pulled him out the fucking window. “Who the fuck is that in the car?”

They asked Dirty for ID. Blunt was screaming, “Why you gotta ask my man for ID? I’m the one drivin’. You ain’t gotta ask him shit. Take my ID. Give me a ticket.”

“It’s not goin’ down like that,” said the cop. “We already know who he is.”

“What the fuck do you mean?” Blunt asked. Because what the fuck is his ID gonna say—Ol’ Dirty Bastard?

His ID actually said Robert Brown. The lady cop was like, “This ain’t you.”

“That’s me,” said Dirty. “Robert Brown.”

“Nah, my son got pictures of you all over his fucking wall. This is not you. We know who you are. Just make it easy.”

They kept asking Blunt and Irie and Chief. “Come on. Tell us who he is.”

“Who the fuck do he say he is? The name he give you is the name he give you.”

Now they got Blunt in cuffs. Threw him on the ground. He was finished. Done. They snatched Merdoc and Chief, put cuffs on them. Then they went for Dirty. “Please, man, just get out of the car. Make it easy on all of us.”

They put Dirty in the paddy wagon. He was still screaming, “Robert Brown! I’m Robert Brown!”

They took Chief’s ID, and he apparently had a warrant in L.A. for some shit. So they took him and put his ass in the paddy wagon. He was in one van, Dirty in another. Blunt and Merdoc were sittin’ on the curb. Merdoc was crying, “Why you fucking with us? Leave us alone. Leave us alone. Y’all know who he is! He’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Fuck it. I’ll say it. Y’all know who he is. He’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard. I don’t care no more. Please don’t kill us!”

Dirty was shaking the van like a goddamn silverback gorilla. The cops told Blunt and them, “Listen, come to the van and tell your man to calm down before we Tase his ass.” Blunt stumbled over to him in handcuffs. “Chill, God. Just chill.” Dirty finally sat down. He looked at Blunt and he said, “Fuck that. Fuck everybody. Fuck it.” And he just sat there in the van and put his head down.

They took him to the station. They took Blunt’s ID and made him follow them to the police station, but didn’t give him no ticket or nothing. They treated Dirty like he’d assassinated somebody or something.

By the end of the day the cops let Blunt go and he asked, “How did you know we was at that McDonald’s?”

“Well, a cashier called the radio station and said she just sold Ol’ Dirty Bastard a Filet-O-Fish sandwich.”

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