Joell Ortiz’s, “House Slippers” is a fantastic journey through the life of one of the most seriously underrated emcees in the music industry. The title track instantly puts the listener in a melancholy, reflective mood as Joell shatters the “charmed life” illusion of celebrity and describes the turmoil revolving around his family and career. “Cold World”(ft. Lee Carr)finds Joell creatively stuttering through a dark track, instantly creating a style that will probably soon be replicated by wannabe rappers who lack originality. “Dream On” showcases Joell cascading through an irresistible track that reminded me of Lil’ Kim’s, “Crush On You” with better production. “Music Saved My Life”(ft. B.O.B. & Mally Stakz)puts Joell’s creative influences in the spotlight and demonstrates that after absorbing so much quality music, he was destined to become the great artist fans clamor to hear.
“Brother’s Keeper” reunites the Slaughterhouse clan for top of the line lyrics backed by an aggressive track. “Q & A” is a study in rhyming excellence where we experience Joell dropping some seriously funny lines: “Your dumb version of hip hop’s got us uncertain/Your daughter dress like a nigga/nigga your son’s twerking.” “Get Down” is a street-oriented dance joint with Ortiz rhyming over what appears to be a chopped up version of The Honey Dripper’s classic, “Impeach The President.” “Say Yes”(ft. Sahlance)shines the spotlight on a repentant Joell as he asks God’s forgiveness for his sometimes questionable life choices while “Better Than” refers directly to those aforementioned choices over a dusty break beat layered with some modern R & B flavor.
“Phone” details the tragedy that results from a man checking through his lover’s phone. “Candy” is a pop oriented confection that maintains its edge due to Joell’s engaging delivery and “Crack Spot” places the listener in the mindset of a drug dealer deep into the game.
As expected, Joell Ortiz comes through with a winner. If you haven’t already done so, put your “House Slippers” on today.
– Kevin Keith