Joell Ortiz – Free Agent

Track Listing:

  • Intro
  • Put Some Money On It Ft. Sheek Louch, Jadakiss & Styles P
  • Killed For Less (Intro)
  • One Shot (Killed For Less) Ft. Fat Joe
  • Sing Like Bilal
  • Finish What You Start Ft. Royce Da 5’9”
  • Battle Cry Ft. Just Blaze
  • Nursery Rhyme
  • Phone (Skit)
  • Call Me (She Said) Ft. Novel
  • So Hard Ft. Anna Yvette
  • Oh! Ft. Iffy
  • Checkin’ For You (Skit)
  • Checkin’ For You
  • Good Man Is Gone
  • Cocaine
  • Incredible (Bonus)


Joell Ortiz can rap. He can rap really well. Hip-hop heads have known this fact. It’s one of the reasons Eminem signed him and his fellow Slaughterhouse group members. In the long line of Brooklyn rappers such as Big Daddy Kane, Notorious B.I.G., and Jay-Z, Joell Ortiz continues this lineage. Free Agent demonstrates that Joell Ortiz is as versatile as ever, from being able to recount childhood memories as if they happened yesterday to uniquely devastating a track only the Puerto Rican emcee from the bodega can.

On the intro track, after a retelling of his previous stints at KOCH and Aftermath, Joell triumphantly rhymes,”But let me make this so clear/ my career is on a treadmill/ I’m running this shit and it ain’t going nowhere!” If there was any doubt about Joell’s ability to spit the battle rhymes, no need to go any further than the aptly named Battle Cry,”From here on it’s locked ya’ll a prisoner to spittin/ Can’t escape my bars no visitor’s permitted/ Welcome to Hell where Joell holds a pitch-fork / And you burn in eternal flames for your bitch talk”

Call Me with an assist from Novel has Joell waxing poetic about his first love. Rapping with a teenage innocence, he describes his experience with his first love so vividly it resonates with anyone who listens,”Fingers crossed I answered the phone hello/ Voice so official/ ‘Hey Joell what you gettin into?’/ I said ‘I’m gettin dressed to come get you’/ She laughed, I said, ‘it’s saturday a nice flick’/ She agreed, ‘Meet me at The Commodore at like six’/ Threw on my Jerreau’s,/ Dusted off the bows/ Zipped the Haley Hanson out the do’ good to go/ She standin there stretch pants 5411’s/ Yelling ‘Hurry up they want me in the crib before 11!”

As great as this second album is, there are a few faults to be found. Fellow Slaughterhouse member Royce Da 5’9″ is featured on Finish What You Start but only on the chorus. Slaugherhouse is known for monstrous verses, it’s a sad thing that Royce wasn’t on the song with one. The two skits don’t really add much to the project but they also don’t take anything away so they are just throwaways. Joell does well on Cocaine but even with the second person narrative, its a subject matter that has been done countless times.

But those missteps don’t hold back Joell at all. No matter if it’s exercising his lyrical muscle, taking a girl out to a movie, or giving an eulogy to a fallen friend, Joell Ortiz brings lyricism back to the forefront. After many obstacles in the music industry, he proved why he was a free agent highly sought after. Good on Eminem that he signed him. I bet Marshall paid top dollar to Joell. He deserves every penny.

About ToZ 121 Articles
TOZ is Selective Hearing’s resident Urban music aficionado. He also has a keen interest in K-Pop, sneakers, Star Trek and long walks on the beach.