“When A Fan Comes Up To You After One Of Your Performances And Says They Want To Buy Your Album With Bitcoin, Do The Deal” A Conversation With Bar-Sun Unique Jones, “Young Dirty,” Son Of Old Dirty Bastard
“Be like 50 Cent and make that money in all forms. You never know what might end up being valuable. One time a fan came up to me and offered me bitcoin. I said no, “In Brooklyn we only take cash, cause cash rules everything around me.” Well I missed out — lesson learned.”
Brooklyn born, Bar-Sun Unique Jones, known as “Young Dirty,” is a breath of fresh air for the Hip-Hop heads who welcome originality. Jones grew up absorbing the heat from a fire, kindled by nine legendary Hip-Hop emcees. One of these MCs was his mentor and father Russel Jones, aka Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and his cousin co-founder of the Wu-Tang, RZA. Young Dirty grew up marinating in the well-seasoned sound of the multi-platinum super group, while exhibiting his own interest through the likes of RZA’s production and the influence of the late ODB. Young Dirty has a high energy freestyle that could only be inherited through the genes that his father oozed as he performed with and without the original nine member Wu-Tang Clan family. At the age of 9, his father passed him the mic while performing at the infamous Apollo and told him to spit his verses from the platinum single “Shimmy, Shimmy Ya.” Since then he caught the entertainment bug and went straight into the family business. He hasn’t looked back since. Young Dirty has been featured on RZA’s album and soundtracks for The Protector and Afro Samurai. Presently, Young Dirty tours with Wu-Tang nationally and is working on his solo album.
What is your “backstory”?
I have been performing with Wu-Tang for years. In 2013, I officially launched my solo career at Rock the Bells with my own performance and songs. That was also the show where we had the historic ODB hologram of Pops. Before the show, the hologram makers filmed me doing “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” as my dad and the hologram made people trip out cause it looked so real.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?
There’s always funny stuff happening. Before one big performance, my cousin was choking me out cause he wanted money… this was in the limousine! That’s just the business we in.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? I heard about your new ‘Dirty Coin’ venture. What does that mean for your fans?
I’m working on my music. I have plans to work with RZA on my upcoming album.
The “Dirty Coin” is something new. The fans are going to love it cause it gives them a way to participate in the world of ODB. A lot of people are making money with cryptocurrency. Me and the fam are looking forward to being big part of things. My father would be proud of us and that’s important.
Who are some of the most famous people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I end up seeing a lot of celebs out wherever I am — New York, Atlanta or Los Angeles. Everyone has so much love for my Pops and they tell me all the time. Meeting Mariah Carey — it was beautiful talking to her and made me think about my dad and how it made him feel to get to work with her. She came to my pop’s funeral and that meant a lot.
I ran into Chris Rock — it was a very humorous experience he’s a real cool guy. He’s just like you see him on TV. I told him he was one of the funniest guys in the world. Chris was happy to see me then he told me I look like my dad.
Sometimes I meet people who want to play my dad in a biopic. Eddie Griffin, I met him in a bar, cool dude. I hear stories that he wants to get the part of my dad in the movie. I mean who wouldn’t wasn’t to play a legend like ODB?
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
The person who inspires me the most is my Pops — Ol’ Dirty Bastard. People don’t know my dad was one of the most intelligent people on the planet Earth. My mom and his wife Icelene has been preparing me for life and for my career since I was little. My dad told her to a long time ago what am I supposed to do and how to handle things in this world and industry.
Michael Jackson is an inspiration. His music was able to touch everybody, and he was one of the most influential artist in the world.
Of course, Martin Luther King lives in all of us. We all have a dream.
What would you advise to an aspiring artist who would like to emulate your career? How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
If I gave advice to someone new in the rap game, I would say: Never to give up no matter what. Nothing comes easy. Do not drink! Do not smoke! Do not lie. That’s how I bring goodness to the world, by not doing those things. Also, you can’t trust everyone. Don’t take open bottles from anyone, you don’t know what might be in it and you might end up laid out on the floor or worse. Watch your back cause the majority of people want what you have. Last, take care of your family cause at the end of the day, that’s all you have.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Understand and watch your royalties backwards and forwards. Make your reps at BMI a Chapel Warner your best friends. In the beginning I didn’t know the royalties and how all that worked but as time goes you learn quickly. If you don’t, there are many people with more knowledge than you that are right there to take a piece of your pie. Unfortunately, this happens to a lot of young performers. You heard Tribe… “record company people are shady.”
2. When a fan comes up to you after one of your performances and says they want to buy your album with bitcoin, do the deal. Don’t tell them you only take cash. Be like 50 Cent and make that money in all forms. You never know what might end up being valuable. One time a fan came up to me and offered me bitcoin. I said no, “In Brooklyn we only take cash, cause cash rules everything around me.” Well I missed out — lesson learned.
3. When your sister tells you that she wants to be your manager, take a weekend and think about it. My older sister asked to be my manager, I’m looking over at my mom and she’s nodding her head “yes,” so of course I said “yes. “ Now I was in a situation where she could boss me around officially. That wasn’t gonna work for the family, so I let that go quick.
4. Make sure when you are performing, and you jump off stage, you know how to get back on stage. There’s been a few times I’ve been in the zone jumped off stage and had no idea how to get back on stage. Then you looking around stupid like, what do I do now, all while trying to keep the crowd hyped.
5. Enjoy the moment and don’t take it for granted. You living good on tour and it’s like a whirlwind and don’t have time to breathe, but when you come off tour, and the lights are off, you’re sitting in your house, you gonna miss it. Enjoy those moments on stage so you can fully enjoy home life as well. Anyone in this business is lucky to have these opportunities, and they can be taken away in an instant.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this.
I wouldn’t mind having lunch with Elon Musk, because he made electrical cars. I would like to have lunch with LeBron James because he is the king on the court.