Rapper canceled Levelz show

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Wu Tang Clan founder, O.D.B., left a long line of disappointed fans at the door of Levelz, 1860 Ski Time Square Drive, on Friday when the rapper didn't show for his well-publicized event.

The next day, the rap star was found dead in a Manhattan recording studio. He was 35.

O.D.B. -- also known as Russell Jones, BZA, Dirt McGirt, Dirt Dog and Big Baby Jesus -- played at 8150 in Vail on Thursday night. He played the entire show sitting down.

The next morning, Jones checked out of the Holiday Inn where he was staying. Instead of heading to Steamboat Springs for his next show, Jones took a plane to New York.

"Instead of coming here, he went directly to his recording studio," Levelz owner Chad Gagliano said.

In Steamboat, rumors circulated among ticket holders that O.D.B. couldn't make it to Steamboat because he had been arrested, said Ashley McMurray, who was in line for the show Friday night. By the time she reached the door with her ticket, the show had been canceled.

There was no explanation, only an apology and a refund. Gagliano refunded all tickets and offered two free drinks as a further apology.

The Steamboat Springs O.D.B. show was organized by JFly Presents.

"They were the promoters of the show," Gagliano said. "Levelz was just the venue."

JFly Presents canceled the show at 8 p.m.

"We refunded everyone's money at 9 p.m. There are still a few tickets out there, and we would be willing to give those people their money back. The night ended up being a good night for Levelz anyway." People stayed to listen to the Levelz resident dee-jay, DJ Cocheze.

Reports indicated that O.D.B. had complained of chest pains Saturday before collapsing. He was dead when paramedics arrived at the recording studio. An autopsy was performed Sunday, but results are not expected for several days.

O.D.B. recently had finished a prison sentence for drug possession and escaping a rehab clinic. He would have turned 36 on Monday.

-- To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210

or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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