TJ Atoms on Favorite MCs, 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga,' and More

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Mark Elzey
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Mark Elzey

Ask anyone who's watched an episode of Wu-Tang: An American Saga and they'll tell you that TJ Atoms' role as Ol' Dirty Bastard is simply surreal. The young rap artist/actor honors the legacy of the fallen Wu-Tang Clan member's legacy through his commendable acting chops and convincing mannerisms. Before the highly rated documentary drama series returns to Hulu for its second season on September 8th, we made sure to check in with TJ and pick his brain. Join us as we learn about TJ's childhood spent in Philadelphia, his musical inspirations, and everything it took to master his important role as ODB.

ONE37pm: So I read that you were born and raised in North Philadelphia. What are some of your warmest memories from your time spent there as a child?

TJ Atoms: Some of my warmest memories in North Philly would definitely have to be just me and my homies chilling, laughing, and recording music at our crib we called the “Baked Carlton” – one of my favorite places, it was basically a frat house for kids who didn’t go to college.

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Mark Elzey

ONE37pm: You've gotten rave reviews for your portrayal of Ol' Dirty Bastard on Wu-Tang: An American Saga. What steps did you take in order to fully embody him onscreen?

Atoms: The steps I took to really embody ODB was studying every clip I could find, talking to anybody who knew him personally, and using what I already knew as a Wu-Tang fan growing up. I watched every clip of ODB I could find on the internet. I even studied his son's movements just to be super authentic in my delivery!

ONE37pm: Now you know I gotta ask this question - what are your top five favorite Wu-Tang tracks?

Atoms: My top five Wu tracks are "Can It All Be So Simple," "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit," "Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'," "Ice Cream," and "Shame on A..."

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