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Ol' Dirty Bastard was one of the founding members of hip-hop's Wu-Tang Clan, "the heart and soul of the group" in its early years, although he had embarked on a solo career before he died of an accidental drug overdose. A collaboration with Mariah Carey on the hit song "Fantasy" led to stardom, but ODB was primarily known during his "short, tumultuous, but somehow inspired life" (1968-2004) for his run-ins with the law and his erratic behavior; in one memorable incident, he disrupted the Grammys to explain why he thought Wu-Tang should have won. Lowe, who wrote about ODB for the Village Voice after his death, has gathered what information she can on his life and career, but that really isn't enough to fill a book. Instead, she writes about her efforts to understand ODB, stretching out each interview, no matter how tangential, and circling around her main themes-such as the notion that the drug-addled rapper was, in his final years, "a curio put onstage" for the amusement of white hipsters. There are occasional flashes of insight, especially when she writes on the subject of ODB's probable mental illness, but the structural weaknesses make for an unsatisfying biography. (Dec. 2)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.