As a Latino having grown up a fan of hip-hop since its inception I’ve always felt obliged to support a Latino rapper regardless to how wack, mediocre or nice he was. From Cypress Hill to Kid Frost to Fat Joe to the late great Big Pun, I would support them because there weren’t many of us making records. More recently I’ve been campaigning in my barrio for MCs like the homies Omar Cruz, Termanology, Nu Jerzey Devil and of course the Brooklynite, Joell Ortiz.

Even before he was signed by Dr. Dre to Aftermath (only to be released before the ink even dried on the contract) Joell was making noise on the Beast Coast for a while. And since he’s teamed with Joe Buddens, Crooked I, and Royce the 5’9 to form the super rap group, Slaughterhouse, his fame and name has been ringing more bells than Jehovah Witnesses.

The concept behind this mixtape itself was just brilliant. Take a bunch of beats from classic hip-hop songs from the past to almost present, set them up from beginning to end in the order each song came out. It was basically a mixtape going through every hip-hop era known to man. It was a brilliant idea, but it was on the MC who put this together to make it all click and achieve mixtape history. Lucky for us J-O was the man behind the mic. From ripping down “Rappers Delight” to the Lost Boyz classic, “Renee” (his version is “Renee’s Revenge”), Ortiz wasn’t only able to rip down every single track, but on some of them was able to imitate the original sound and flow used.

On Pac’s classic “Got My Mind Made Up” Don Joel went in on the Daz production saying, “Hand me my glory, my separation from niggas is highly amazin’/as you can see my familia’ from an alien nation/I must be patient cause my level of communication/is so advanced that it’s not programmable on a man’s station/so I’m just in my lab pacin’… but fuck it! I’m makin’ muthafuckas panic/I’m in here writin’ frantic, these maggots is dirt beneath from where I’m standin’/my spirit told me to withstand it/don’t dumb it down for entertainment, just thug it out/your wish will be granted/no kind of dough gon’ have me sellin’ my soul/you know that ain’t the only way to blow, no/a few years ago some friends of mine said you’ll never get a deal, get some O’s and grind…”

There’s not denying that Joell Ortiz is as nice if not even nicer than anyone that’s getting an extreme push from a major record label. J-O has more flows than Tampax could ever slow down and his rhymes and lyrics must be written with the tip of the devil’s feather cause them words burn into memory banks (the devil has wings too, right?). Only time and mainstream radio will dictate whether this man gets his time to burn, but God knows that if there’s anyone who deserves a chance to rep NYC on a national and worldly level, it’s Joell. Given, he has sort of a sinus congested sounding voice at times and he couldn’t outrun Joe Budden in a race after basically swearing on a plate of platanos that he could, but real talk, this man can still run laps around your favorite rapper… well, except literally Joe Buddens.-The Infamous O

Hottest Joint: Please…

Weakest Joint: NONE