Artist graveyard? For the Puerto Rican, Brooklyn-raised up-and-comer Joell Ortiz, Koch is his jumping off point. Now signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label, Ortiz’s debut, The Brock: Bodega Chronicles works as an independent teaser for his upcoming full-length. Ortiz, raised in Brooklyn’s Cooper projects is one of the most fiercely hungry rappers to come out of New York as of late. Like Styles P and Saigon, both of whom guest on the album, Ortiz is a hard working MC sick of NY’s recent spate of trap-rap. His two singles, “Hip Hop” and “Brooklyn Bullshit” are full of real hip-hip quotables. “Brooklyn” is full of prideful, “so what’s”, like “So what if I still reside in my mom’s crib? / Now fuck that / I’m rhyming to get out of there kid.” On the back-to-the-basics “Hip Hop” he commands, “Do me a favor. Accidentally step on your wives’ sunglasses. We don’t wear those over here. This is hip hop.” True hip-hop is myopic, bitch! Despite his oftentimes cloying Golden Age yearnings, Ortiz has the skills, and appetite, to back it up.
// Notes from the Road
"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.READ the article