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Joell Ortiz

The Brick: Bodega Chronicles

(Koch; US: 24 Apr 2007)

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.

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