Saturday, April 30, 2011

Emcee of the Month: Joell Ortiz

Man, I need some hard-hittin' hip hop like this today. This is "Battle Cry" by Joell Ortiz.

There are some days in the lives of hip hoppers when we need to hear the livest, rawest, grimmiest, gulliest, most aggressive tracks we can find. For me, today was one of those days. I was actually worried about doing my post tonight because I didn't know if I'd be filled with too much of the energy from my day to really be constructive. But this record is like therapy for me.

I absolutely love these long form rap tracks. Canibus has a great one called "100 Bars", The Roots did the incredible track titled "The Web", and Busta Rhymes has a fantastic one named "Rhymes Galore." Sometimes I don't want to hear any hooks or r&b cameos or clever sample tricks; simply 'one-plus-one is two' type cuts. One rhyme plus one beat equals two to four minutes of pure head-nodding and teeth gritting, and many times that's all I need.

Joell is a masterful rap lyricist and I am grateful to have found this video tonight. It allowed me to rediscover a clear sense of thought that was clouded by the events of my day. I'm a bit disheartened that this is our last day with him. This has been a fantastic month of music for me.

Joell Ortiz is dope.


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