As the Brooklyn native Joell Ortiz gears up to deliver his upcoming masterpiece ‘House Slippers’ September 16th, the Yaowa ambassador took us into the Diamond District Studios for a very exclusive listening session! Any real Hip Hop fan will fall in love with the production, lyrics and overall theme in each track, highlighting the true growth of Joell Ortiz. Check out photos, video and more here!

Adriela Batista

As you walk into the Diamond District Studio you automatically get the sense that you are home, you have people welcoming you left and right, amazing food including curry chicken, rice & peas setting off the aroma, and House slippers…. Yes. House Slippers. I was greeted by an energetic Joell, that simply stated in order to stay, ‘You’ve got to take off your shoes and throw these on, I don’t care what your socks look like’. So what was I forced to do? Take off my fitting chucks, and get comfortable. That set the tone for the project, even before listening.

As a group of us gathered to the recording area to begin the listening session, it literally felt like we shifted from our grandma’s kitchen, to the living room. All of us packed into this room, comfortable, eager to listen to his latest piece. Joell introduced the tape with ‘House Slippers’, an energetic opener, truly tying in the title and overall comfort level of the whole album. Then followed with ‘Cold World’, which switched the energy from fun to focused. Here you are able to get a preview of the emotion that will fully unleash through out the entire album.

‘Dream On’, is another hit that gives off an old school feel, tied in with sampling, and a great number of punch lines. Appropriately leading into ‘Music Saved My Life’, Ortiz’ latest single featuring B.o.B., and a White Plains native Mally Stakz, who both appropriately compliment the track. This track is an homage to the career paths the lyricists have taken, here Joell fully expresses his gratitude for the Hip Hop game, overcoming life experiences, with lines such as ‘You didn’t let me down, Music You Saved My Life’. Track 6, ‘Q & A’ is a track that Joell says ‘Whatever came to mind, I was jotting down.’ in essence this track is Joell’s personal rant, where he speaks of his transition into healthy living and more.

‘Get Down’ is one of my personal favorites, produced by Heat Makers and is a combination of a lyrical, club banger, to which Joell states was his exact goal with the track; ‘make music people party to, that still has lyrics’. Other tracks that may appeal to the ladies include ‘Candy’ a tale of a Ride Or Die chick, and ‘Phone’ an intense love story gone wrong. ‘Phone’ will leave you at the edge of your speaker, waiting to hear the end result! Of course the project would not be complete without collaborations form the Slaughter House crew, as well as another BK repper. Ortiz recruited Slaughter House for ‘Brother’s Keeper’, a dreary gloomy hit surrounded by the themes of loyalty and brotherhood, of course represented by each member in the group, with an Epic Joe Budden verse. Another amazing collaboration includes fellow BK repper Maino, who featured on ‘Better Than’, fully bringing in the New York sound with the production and flows from both lyricists. ‘Say Yes’ is another Heatmaker production that serves as a confessional for the rapper, as he lets all of his second guessing, go with the track. The closer as Ortiz says is the old ‘Yaowa’, with raw, dope production and a dope theme literally, titled, ‘Crack Spot’. This song will hopefully get a Meek Mill verse added on, as Ortiz stated; ‘When Meek come’s home, I’ma holla at him for the remix’.

Make sure you cop ‘House Slippers’ September 16th, check out a preview of ‘Cold World’ here!