Joell Ortiz & Raekwon Join Forces For A Rap Tale Of Love & Revenge (Audio)

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Five years ago, Joell Ortiz and Raekwon joined Pusha T plus Danny Brown on “Tick, Tock.” The hard-hitting collaboration was just the right combination for The Man With The Iron Fists soundtrack. With Raekwon hailing from one of Rap’s super-crews of the 1990s, and Joell as one-fourth of one of Rap’s fiercest collectives in recent years, this pair maintains its chemistry care of new a la carte single “Start To Fade.”

Premiering at Ambrosia For Heads, the dramatic single is storytelling Rap that features Smokey Robinson’s unmistakable vocal on the chorus. Like so much of Robinson’s indelible Motown Records catalog, “Start To Fade” deals with matters of the heart. Joell’s opening verse chronicles a courtship-turned-love affair. More than a tryst, the Brooklyn MC details watching a flirt become a best friend. That storybook romance is tragically destroyed by a fatal incident. Now, the MC is left with just pain and a permanent guard over his heart. In the speaker’s mind, love only leads to loss.

Without a formal introduction, Raekwon enters as Joell’s best friend. He is the street soldier who apparently wants to settle the score on the incident that cost Ortiz’s character his love. The Wu-Tang Clan MC shows his coldest side when dealing with a nemesis in the streets of East New York. He refuses to even take a handshake and spits in the party’s palm when they meet. Interrupted by the law, Rae’ waits for the right moment for revenge. Perhaps Heads will get an update on the story in time, or are left to wonder what happens when The Chef “goes Saw 6.”

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“Start To Fade” is Rap Noir, with a grim storyline in a cutthroat universe. Like Ghostface Killah’s 36 Seasons, the song is also inventive, character-driven story Rap.

Earlier this year, Raekwon released The Wild. Last year, Joell hit fans off with That’s Hip Hop.