Reporting Jay Tilles
Less than a week after Rock The Bells announced the festival would include a RZA-directed virtual performance from Ol’ Dirty Bastard, ODB’s widow has voiced her disappointment about not being consulted.
As the administrator of ODB’s estate, Icelene Jones said she is the single person that can greenlight the use of her late husband’s likeness.
“I am disappointed that Rock the Bells would not contact me directly about the use of my husband’s image,” Jones said in a press release. “I am looking forward to talking to Wu-Tang about this matter and coming up with a positive solution in order to bring my husband to the stage once again.”
“They need to come to me. I’m so available,” Jones told HipHopDX. “I’m accessible. I’m easy to contact. I just want to make that understood. I’m a nice person. It’s just that people are doing things without my knowledge.”
Jones continued: “I know it’s something the fans would like. I don’t want to stop anything like that. Bringing him back to life again—it would be a beautiful thing to give the fans what they want. I don’t want control or anything like that.”
Despite the uneasiness she feels about being left out of the mix, Jones said that her son, Boy Jones, who has performed at Rock the Bells, is looking forward to being part of the festival again.
“My son, Young Dirty Bastard, [Boy Jones] has always performed at Rock the Bells,” she said, “and looks forward to working with his Uncle RZA every year.”
Chang Weisberg, the President of Guerilla Union, the company putting on Rock The Bells, told Radio.com that he has heard that Jones is unhappy, but contrary to reports, “Guerilla Union and Rock The Bells have not received a cease and desist.”
“I’m aware that she’s disappointed,” he said. “But the fact she’s reaching out to RZA and Divine [Mitchell Diggs, RZA’s brother] is a great thing. We’re working through it.”
He added, “We are going to work with the entire ODB family, including Divine and Cherry [Jones], ODB’s mother. It involves quite a few people actually. We want to do the right thing. We’re having all the right discussions. We’ll be speaking with all the right people. You can best believe that at the wishes of RZA and Divine from Wu-Tang Clan, as long as this looks and feels the way they want it to go down, it’s absolutely going to happen.”
Weisberg expressed his excitement about working with RZA on the virtual performance some are calling a hologram-like experience. Without giving too much away, he teased fans, saying that they will definitely be more than impressed by what Rock The Bells and Wu Tang have up their sleeves.
“When you see what we’re going to do with the virtual performances,” he said. “I think it’s just going to be a whole ‘nother level.”
Rock the Bells 2013 tour dates:
September 7-8 – San Bernardino, California
September 14-15 – Mountain View, California
September 28-29 – Washington, D.C.
October 4-5 – East Rutherford, New Jersey