Review Summary: ...meh...
Joell Ortiz is most famed for being in rap “supergroup” Slaughterhouse. I now understand why. He’s not particularly good at anything – so average, so frustrating, such a waste of time. I take that back, he CAN be good, but most of the time he’s so bland that it makes me hate him. The fact that he doesn’t capitalize on his potential makes him terrible.
The beats, decent (see, average East coast instrumental); his flow, acceptable; his voice, alright; lyrics, streaky. Everything is on the fence, it’s there, it could go either way. But, incredibly, throughout the mixtape, Joell Ortiz manages an impeccable balancing act, only falling on the good side three times. Snake Charmer is representative of his lyrical capabilities – “Now come ride it like a brand new Rover/Come sit on this dick, like a brand new sofa/Nah don’t push my stomach, let me get a little closer/Get up on them walls like a Biggie Smalls poster/They do what they can, I do what I’m s’posed ta/I can make you scream like your first roller coaster/Yea I’m a freak, I’ll eat it like a vulture.” – and the cool beats he could have (the Indian snake charmer feel is awesome) as Make It Without You is indicative of how good his voice can sound and Stalker shows how well he can tell a story and how tight his flow really can be.
Joell Ortiz has lots of potential, he just doesn’t exercise it. Three good songs out of eighteen, and everything else falls into the recycling bin.