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Joell Ortiz Says Label Urged Him to Start Beef

Joell Ortiz says his record label wanted him to start beef with other rappers as a publicity stunt. The Brooklyn emcee, who is readying the release of his album ‘Free Agent Ortiz,’ was puzzled by the lack of support from his label, E1 Music, and took to his Twitter page to put them on blast.

“It’s crazy to be on a label that says that no one knows me, but when I get outside the car horns beep and all ya’ll yell YAOWA!” he tweeted. “It’s funny ’cause when I tell them to let me go cause I’m such a burden the whole [conversation] changes. The label asked me if I have a Twitter account! Then they said I need to do something ‘controversial’ (beef) to market myself. I was told that I am marketing myself as a ‘good rapper’ I need to be more rock n roll. I am not lying.”

The idea of purposely starting controversy isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. Although many rappers have suspiciously started “beef” with each other, whether or not it always translates into record sales remains to be seen. 50 Cent and Kanye West successfully pitted themselves against one another by releasing an album on the same day back in 2007, snagging them the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on Billboard charts that week.

No word yet if Ortiz will be taking his label’s advice. ‘Free Agent Ortiz’ drops May 18. Watch the video for the new single ‘Call Me’ featuring Novel after the jump.

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