Album Review: Joell Ortiz – Free Agent


I remember about 3 or 4 years ago I was having one of my “infamous” hip hop debates about is hip hop dead and my peoples were naming MC’s who they felt were holding it down. My man Donn brought Pappose’s name up…but I never felt dude…at all. Someone else brought up Saigon’s name…Sai’s cool but money missed his window. How you gonna be on Entourage, playing yourself and not drop an album? Label politics did him dirty. I’m STILL waiting on “The Greatest Story Never Told”! Then my man Kelv brought up some dude named Joell Ortiz, and I’m like “who?” So, he gives me the background on money and I’m like “if he’s dope, he’ll get around to me” and at the end of the day, Joell got around to me cause TRUST me, money is dope.

Joell comes out the gate swinging with “Intro” to let cats know just how focused he is. “It Doesn’t Matter” featuring the Lox reminds me of slap boxing in the middle of the streets with my peoples back in Philly cause all of four of these dudes go in hard on this track with more quotables then a yearly subscription to the Source back in’ 94! For “One Shot” (featuring Fat Joe) I’ll quote Joe to describe it…”that REAL gangster music.” “Finish What You Started” has Joell spittin with his eyes closed and making it look as easy as Derrick Rose breaking Tyreke Evan’s ankles and “Battle Cry” featuring Just Blaze BUT produced by Audible Doctor is just what the doc ordered. “Call Me” with Novel tells Joell’s trials and tribulations of the dating game back in the good ole days of high school and house parties and Primo checks in with “Sing Like Bilal” but where’s my banger “Project Boy”?!?!? The label didn’t wanna clear the Flava Flav sample?!?!?! Come on…you don’t leave a heater like that off an album! All these labels been doing Joell dirty for a minute but I LOVE the fact that Joell be airing them out!

“Free Agent” is a certified dope hip hop album and it might just crack my top 10 albums of the year list. (which is already done) I just pray that in the future Joell would get some REAL promotion so that there will be more ways for cats to hear about him then just neighborhood dudes pollying about if hip hop is dead. Good looking Kelv!

4 outta 5