Happy Birthday, Joell Ortiz!
Perhaps one of Brooklyn's most underrated rhymers is Joell Ortiz, who makes up one-forth of the supergroup Slaughterhouse. The rapper turns 35 years old today (July 6).
Like everyone else in Slaughterhouse, Ortiz prides himself on being a lyricist. After being named in The Source's 2004 Unsigned Hype column, the MC made his name as an underground star after having trouble getting signed to a label. His deal with Jermaine Dupri's So So Def Records in 2005 went south and ended with the artist and label head beefing. Ortiz eventually ended up on Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records, but released his debut album, The Brick: Bodega Chronicles, under Koch Records in 2007. Executive produced by Dre, The Brick featured the likes of Big Daddy Kane, Ras Kass and Styles P.
Of course, Slaughterhouse raised his profile to mainstream prominence. The supergroup released two albums -- Slaughterhouse and Welcome to: Our House -- before Ortiz dropped House Slippers in 2014, an LP which reflected a lifestyle change.
"I wanted to lose weight. I just wanted to become a better person," Ortiz told Crazy Hood. "Through that -- through losing weight and stop smoking cigarettes and slowed down heavily on drinking, I started seeing things differently. Literally, I started feeling different. It’s like my eyes opened up; it wasn’t so cloudy in that rock star life."
In 2015, Ortiz is healthy and still rapping.
Watch Joell Ortiz's "Phone" Video
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