Kxng Crooked and Joell Ortiz drop a quick 5 track EP for Slaughterhouse fans to relish in and think about the great times that used to be. I don’t even have to tell you how these two MCs do on the mic. They will annihilate anyone that steps near them. The production on this album is pretty decent. I think they selected some good beats to say what they gotta say over top of. The highlight of this project is “Foe Or Friend” which features the pair rhyming over top of the classic Jay-Z track “Friend Or Foe.” It always sounds great when top tier lyricists rhyme on classic beats. These two are definitely killing the game out there and not many rappers can keep up with them. They only thing I wanted was a full length album instead of an EP.
Crooked I and Joell Ortiz team up for a brand new album that is free from all of the Slaughterhouse drama. This is a pretty robust album clocking in at 24 tracks total. A lot of them are skits which one can argue if they are necessary or not. They do take up a lot of the time, but one could also argue that they push the narrative forward on the album. It is basically a story of a rookie cop recruit that goes on an adventure in a fictional town and has a pretty huge climaxing scene at the end. On the mic, Crooked and Joell are as magical as they ever have been. They are spitting complex bars of fury and pushing the story ahead as they go along. There aren’t a whole lot of features on here but, you do get a verse from the legendary AZ. The production on here is pretty decent overall. I’d classify the beats somewhere in between average and above average. The highlight of the project is a track called “Community Center” which is a perfectly written dialogue about the effect that community centers had in the lives of the MCs and how important they are. You can almost picture yourself there with them as they tell their stories. This was a bit of different move for the duo that still raps from Slaughterhouse. This might not be their most memorable album ever, but we will take anything they are willing to give us.
One half of the amazing and legendary crew Slaughterhouse release a new project to tell their side of the story. There’s a lot of talk on both sides of this story. I tried to take in as much as I could. I heard Joe and Royce both talk and what they were saying made sense. I heard Joell and Crooked talk and what they said made sense. This whole thing just seems like one of those unfortunate incidents that will never be resolved. Both sides have valid feelings about the breakup, what happened, and what shouldn’t happen. Even with all this drama, there is one thing that is absolutely, unequivocally true: the group’s fans will suffer without them and their music. They were a magical group and we loved them all. We miss hearing them all together. They were great. We still relish in getting solo projects from any one of them. So with this team effort, even though it was all we got, we still love it. Because we enjoy watching these men at work. They are great at what they do. The bars are amazing on here. They tell a fantastic story. This is their side of the story and they are entitled to tell it if they choose to. The beats are fantastic as well. They really selected some great beats. Highlights on this project definitely include “Vacancy,” “Backstage,” and “Sorry.” All 3 of these beats are classics. This is a fantastic record and we as rap fans probably deserve the whole group. But if this is what we can get, we will gladly take it. I pray that they can overcome all obstacles and get back to doing what they do so well.
Gianni Russo, the acclaimed actor that played Carlo Rizzi in The Godfather movie enlists rapper Joell Ortiz and producer Rsonist from the Heatmakerz to give us this new project that turned out pretty dope. This is pretty much a concept album involving a lot of stories in and around the making of the Godfather or closely related mafia stories. Joell does a fantastic job with the bars. He is able to put on an accent when needed and play different characters all while rapping at a very high level. He really does a great job at story-telling. Rsonist does a decent job as well on the boards. If you are expecting the classic Diplomat sound, you won’t get that. You will get some dope beats that really fit this project well. All in all, this is a great concept for an album and a very interesting and original idea that pretty much hasn’t been done before. It was great hearing something so new and fresh.
Joell Ortiz comes back with an incredibly mature album that makes a statement. Joell Ortiz is an OG, is better than most other rappers, and he’s here to stay. His bars on this new album are incredibly good. He definitely hasn’t lost a step when it comes to his pen game. He gets some great features from Crooked I, Sheek Louch, and Cyhi Da Prynce on this project. There is some fantastic production from The Heatmakerz, Apollo Brown, and Salaam Remi. They each give this album the grown-up and respectable feel that it deserves. The tone is definitely set from the jump-off with the first track “In My Feelings” where Joell gives us almost a recap of his life up to this point. On songs like “OG,” Joell proves to us that you can be older in this game and still be a top tier lyricist. There really isn’t too much that can be said against this album. This is a solid effort and cements Joell Ortiz’s name in the game.
Half of the legendary group Slaughterhouse team up to bring us an incredible EP. Joell Ortiz and Crooked I are 2 of the best rappers out there period. There is no coaching perfection. Their bars throughout this EP are strong as neither of them have lost a step at all. The production on here is also top notch as they selected beats from Heatmakerz, Illmind, Erick Sermon, and Apollo Brown. Even though there aren’t too many tracks on here, it is just banger after banger, all littered with dope lyrics. They really did a great job with this project. I know all fans are dying for another Slaughterhouse album, but who knows if we will ever get to see that? All in all, this was a great effort that really paid off well. Just wish it would have been a full studio album instead of an EP.
Joell Ortiz comes back in a big way with a really dope new album entitled everyone’s favorite day of the week, Monday. He really has a lot of deep and introspective rhymes and great concepts throughout this project. It’s no secret that Joell Ortiz is one of the best MCs out there. He doesn’t really ever spit whack verses. It’s just not something he does. He has a lot of great beats that he selected on here as well. Definitely a lot of head nodders that true hip-hop heads will appreciate. On “Anxiety” he raps about what this feeling is like and I’m sure most who suffer from it will agree what he is saying. Even the beat itself is a little frantic and off-center which makes it that much more fitting. On “Learn You”he tells about how he wishes he had a closer relationship with his son. On “Screens” he raps about the dangers of allowing your kids to be raised by electronics and how we all lose touch with each other by doing that. There are a ton of great songs on here. This is a great album; the only thing missing is just that magic element that makes it a classic album. It’s not something that can be taught or calculated or manufactured. It’s just that thing that you get lucky enough to have on an album. Sometimes it strikes and sometimes it doesn’t. Other than that elusive, magical trait, this is a really, really dope album.
This was a super quick EP at only 5 songs from Joell and Salaam. It goes without saying that Joell Ortiz can rap circles around most MCs and that is no different on this project. He definitely smashes the mic and almost even sounds a little reinvigorated on here. He reps NY correctly every time he grabs the mic. The beats were pretty decent on here as well. One thing that seemed evident on here was that it seems like the project wasn’t mixed or mastered well. It just didn’t sound very well from a technical perspective. I don’t know if this was the angle they were going for, but it was a bit distracting to the listener. I almost hate to think that Joell Ortiz has gone from putting out supreme mixtapes and albums both solo and with Slaughterhouse to now putting out short EPs that aren’t even mastered right. I don’t want to be in a world where that is true. Hopefully this is just a quick project to keep the streets fed until we get a full length project.
This is a phenomenal match-up if I ever saw one. You get two of NY’s finest MCs and pair them up with some of the best producers and you get pure gold. There is no question that both Joell Ortiz and Fred The Godson are both top tier lyricists. Joell has been killing it ever since he started, through the Slaughterhouse years, and into today. The dude cannot be faded at all. Fred The Godson is an MC I always forget how great his skills are. His punchlines are all but unmatched out there. He is so clever and doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He is definitely one of the ones keeping the New York sound alive. Both MCs go back and forth throughout this entire project and both utterly destroy the mic. You will definitely not be disappointed on the lyrical side of this project. The beats are pretty decent throughout. The Heatmakerz do a decent job. You won’t get the sound of the old Diplomats, but you get quality nonetheless. It would have been nice to maybe hear a track like how they used to do them, but I wasn’t mad at the beats at all. The standout track has to be “Outstanding” which samples the eternal hit by the Gap Band. This is a perfect creation if I have ever heard one. They sound fantastic over this summertime beat. You gotta cop this one quick because this is MC perfection.
The former Slaughterhouse wordsmith Joell Ortiz teams up with Detroit super producer Apollo Brown and brings us a very introspective project called Mona Lisa. Now the first thing that really stands out about this project is how somber and sad it seems. You definitely get that vibe the whole way through the album. Joell does a fantastic job lyrically. There really aren’t too many MCs out there that are messing with Joell on the mic. But, you can hear the sadness and the intense thinking that is going on when he spits his bars. Apollo Brown is usually real rough and gritty with his old time samples and hard beats, but you can hear how somber his beats are to match Joell Ortiz on this one as well. On “Reflection” he tells us about where he is right now as an artist, how it is hard to navigate the music industry right now, and thoughts about where he actually stands. “That Place” is a fantastic and REAL track about how he hates going to the hospital because it is usually associated with death (sometimes life, but a lot of death and problems also). I think anyone out there can relate to this track which is what makes Joell so good. The highlight of the project is the collaboration with Royce Da 5’9″ on “Timberlan’d Up.” The beat is fantastic and both MCs do their thing on the mic. This is a dope project, but it will definitely make you sit back and think a bit.
I almost passed over this release at first because I had no idea what it was. Once I saw Joell Ortiz’s name on it, I was in though. This is a dope release which is entirely produced by Salaam Remi. The beats are very heavily influenced by Spanish music. I think the beats sound great and it adds to the whole ambiance of the album. The lyrics are provided by Joell Ortiz, Bodega Bamz, and MC Nitty Scott. All 3 def do their thing. Joell probably shines the most because he is definitely the most lyrical but the other 2 shine with their respective flows. Adding a female to the mix with MC Nitty Scott was definitely a good idea. She sort of balances out the perspectives. I think the standout track on this project is “Iceys On Deck.” Overall, the tracks are very good and very consistent. I think it was a great idea to get production from one producer as opposed to collecting several tracks from many producers. This gives the album a more cohesive sound. This is a definite hit and you do not want to miss this one.
Joell Ortiz has always been a beast on the mic. Whenever I hear Joell, I think of 24 inch biceps just punching the hell out of a track. His thirst to be the best is never quenched. This project is a prime example of Joell delivering relentless bars of power. It is chock full of bars and some very good beats as well. The standout track to me is “Say What I Want” featuring Chris Rivers. A head-nodding barrage of lyrics is provided by both lyricists. I think overall, there is a classic hip hop feel that he was shooting for with this album. If you are a Joell Ortiz fan, you will definitely enjoy this album.