The estate of Wu-Tang Clan member Ol Dirty Bastard has entered into an agreement with Long Island, New York based company MerchDirect, to produce a new line of Ol Dirty t-shirts, posters and other accessories featuring the late rappers image.
According to Newsday, Ol Dirty Bastards widow Icelene Jones entered into an agreement with MerchDirect to produce the new lines, which are slated to land in stores around February.
MerchDirect produces official merchandise for a diverse group of artists like R&B singer Sean Kingston, legendary rock group Blue Oyster Cult and pop singer Joss Stone.
“We feel that ODB appeals to Taking Back Sunday’s fans but also appeals to a Joss Stone fan or the white suburban kids who totally love it and get it, and it’s authentic Hip-Hop that real Hip-Hop guys are going to go for,” commented Lee Tepper, one of MerchDirects co-founders. “He is definitely an artist that crosses boundaries of genres, and he not only appeals to all genres, but he’s respected, and everyone can relate to his wackiness in a way.”
Ol Dirty Bastard, born Russell Jones, died of a heart attack at Wu-Tangs recording studio 36 Records in Manhattan on November 13, 2004, just two days shy of his 36th birthday.
His death set off a struggle over his estate between his widow Icelene Jones, his former managers and his mother, Cherry Jones.
The court battles over Ol Dirtys estate eventually led to a highly anticipated album by the rapper being shelved.
The drama over his estate continued has continued until as recently as March 2007, when two women who claimed to have 11-year-old sons fathered by ODB made paternity claims against the estate in court.
The two mothers also alleged that Icelene Jones mismanaged $225,000 dollars worth of revenue since his death in 2004.
All totaled, four women have come forward since the rappers death, each claiming to have a child by Ol Dirty Bastard.
Two other women had previous filed paternity claims against the estate, one in Carson, California, the other in Jersey City.