By Anna Merlan
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"I'm saying, 'What the hell Dirty did?' " Sixty says. "I'm still not wholly convinced. Now I'm thinking that he did something somewhere else. Maybe they was looking for him. Why would cops shoot at us?"
He demanded that Dirty fess up. "What the fuck you done get me into, man?"
"I told you these cops are tryin' to kill me, man!" Dirty insisted. "They're trying to kill me!"
But for now, as the Tahoe drove down on the wrong side of the street, mounting sidewalks in an attempt to dodge the pursuing cops, Sixty was giving his cousin the benefit of the doubt. "The boy was tremblin' so hard the shit jumped over to me an' cause me to start tremblin'," Sixty recalls. We ain't know where we was going or nuthin'. He's just ridin', tryin' to get away."
The chase ended at 1341 East New York Avenue, outside a boarding home for women owned by the rappers' aunt, Cheryl Dixon. Initial news accounts of the incident toed the police line: Dirty fired on the cops after they stopped him for driving his Tahoe with no headlights on; the cops fired back, hitting the vehicle with as many as five rounds.
Police charged Dirty with first-degree attempted murder, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. But they found no weapon, and Dirty denies shooting at the cops. Freed on $150,000 bail last week, he faces up to life in prison. "If Dirty hadn't pulled off I woulda got shot in my head," says Sixty, who has not been charged. "They figured we had a gun or somethin'. But it wasn't no gun. It was nothing but a cellular phone."
Ol' Dirty Bastard's paranoia showed earlier that evening, when he arrived at Brooklyn Sounds United Kingdom, a recording studio in the basement of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza founded by Papa Wu and community activist Sonny Carson to tap into the raw talent of young blacks who want to rap out their frustration.
According to Sixty-Second Assassin, Dirty was anxious to find the right beat for a single on his new album. Although he would settle for the background music from an old Biz Markie hit, Dirty seemed to have a lot more on his mind.
"He's walkin' around like he's paranoid but everybody knows that Dirty's been paranoid," says Sixty. "It's been going on for four years now. We kept saying, 'What's wrong with Dirty? Why is he acting like this?' He'd say things like, 'All of us gotta watch out because we into this music. These crackers don't like us, man.' "
At the studio, Sixty finally confronted Dirty about his nervous pacing and banter with the other rappers. "Dirty, what's wrong? Talk to me, man." Dirty, he recalls, laughed, walked toward the door, then turned around and beckoned, "Yo, Sixty! Come upstairs with me." Sixty realized that Dirty wanted company because he feared driving alone. "Everytime I see him he got one of our cousins in the car with him." But that evening, Dirty was alone. Sixty recalls telling his cousin he was expected at his aunt's home on Dean Street and urged the rapper to go with him.
Before departing, Sixty told Dirty, "Do not drive crazy" and warned him not to believe that someone was coming after them if they seem to be tailgaiting. him. They turned on Brooklyn Avenue, then Sixty directed him to make a left on Atlantic Avenue and head straight for Saratoga Avenue. But Dirty missed the turn. He thought somebody was following them.
"Dirty, I thought I told you to make a left, man," Sixty snapped.
"I've got it man, don't worry about it," Dirty shot back. Shortly after Dirty assured him he was in control, they heard the police siren. "Now I think they was following us for a while because Dirty kept acting paranoid."
Shortly after the cops allegedly threatened to blow Dirty's head off, the cousins fled the scene and wound up at their aunt's home. As Sixty raced inside the building, Dirty pleaded, "Man, please don't go nowhere. Please!"
"Man, come in here with me!" Sixty said.
Suddenly, another unmarked car pulled up. Dirty jumped back in his Tahoe and attempted to drive off. The cops rammed the jeep and it spun around.
"I ran into the place, acting like I didn't do nothing and told my aunt Cheryl to go out there and make sure Dirty's all right 'cause the police got him," Sixty remembers.
A cop put a gun to Dixon's head. "Get back or we're gonna shoot your ass!" the cop allegedly barked.
"Stay right here, sugar!" Dirty told his aunt. "You ain't got to go nowhere!"
Dixon, Sixty recalls, remained on the scene. Apparently buying into Dirty's paranoia, he became convinced that the cops wanted to get her out of the way so they could kill Dirty. "I guess the other cops put the hit out on him," Sixty charges. "They wanted to kill him right there."
While the cops ransacked the home looking for Sixty and a gun, Sixty hid in one of the women's rooms. "They in my aunt's room lookin' for a gun. They told my aunt that Dirty was just drivin' reckless but that I had the gun shooting at the police." Outside the cops were pressuring Dirty to tell them where Sixty was hiding. According to Sixty, Dirty eventually told them that he was on the third floor.