May 2, 2003 12:07


And he's already got a new record deal - and he expects to rejoin the Wu-Tang Clan for their next album...

Rapper OL' DIRTY BASTARD has been freed from jail after spending more than two years inside on drugs charges.

And on his first day of freedom yesterday (May 1), the star, real name Russell Jones, appeared at a New York press conference, to announce his signing to Roc-A-Fella records and the adoption of another alias, Dirt McGirt.

According to Rolling Stone, ODB expressed relief at the end of his incarceration, during which he had been placed on suicide watch for a spell. He admitted: "The first thing I wanted to do was give my mother a hug. It was hell out there. But so what, I feel good. I'm happy to be here. I'm happy my eyes are open still. I'm all right physically and mentally. I feel good."

The rapper was sentenced in July 2001, but had been detained for months prior to that after escaping a court-ordered drug treatment facility and going on the run. He was officially paroled earlier this year but transferred to a psychiatric hospital.

>He recalled: "They was trying to lock me in, 'cause I was running around being Dirt McGirt. "They said, 'Yo, we don't know about this one cat here. He seems a little crazy.' I had to hit to hit 'em with some Dirt McGirt wear and they let me go."

Though no concrete recording plans have been announced, ODB is expected to enter the studio shortly, and he saysMariah Carey, present at the press conference, 50 Cent and JAY-Z as some of the artists he'd like to collaborate with.

He said: "Since I've been gone, it got like radical and crazy, know what I'm saying? Scared me a little. Sitting in the cell, watching my niggaz doing their thing. The music, they got it going on. I just want to jump in there like a swimming pool."

He also suggested that he'd soon be rejoining the Wu-Tang Clan
for their next album. "Y'all know how Wu-Tang
get down," he said. "We gets down when we
gets down. We gonna get you back to the dinosaur days. So just look for it."

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