Joell Ortiz Reflects On Slaughterhouse & More On His Collabo With Apollo Brown (Audio)

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Hi. We recently created AFH TV, Ambrosia For Heads’ streaming video service, because we believe real Hip-Hop deserves its own dedicated TV home, but we need your help to make it great. Please subscribe to AFH TV. It is only $1.99/month or $12/year, and already features some amazing content, but the best is yet to come. Thank you for all of your support.

It seems like Detroit, Michigan’s Apollo Brown has taken it upon himself to pair some of the most lyrical MCs in the game with the tailor-made production they deserve. Since 2012 he has dropped heralded projects with Guilty Simpson, O.C., Ras Kass, Skyzoo, Planet Asia, and earlier this year, Locksmith. Having proven himself with the underground’s cream of the crop, he has now turned his attention to possibly his most recognized collaborator, Joell Ortiz.

Ortiz was, of course, one of the four bar bullies that made up the super-group known as Slaughterhouse. The crew officially disbanded in April of this year. Although Joell regularly dropped solo albums while with his Rap quartet, this LP with Brown, titled Mona Lisa, marks his first post-Slaughterhouse release. At a time when Ortiz has seemingly been the quietest member surrounding the news, it makes sense that he would be addressing the break-up and what led to the dissolution on at least a song or two.

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Today Ambrosia For Heads premiers “Reflection,” the third single Apollo and Ortiz ahead of Mona Lisa‘s unveiling on October 26. This song takes a look at the state of the music industry, explores where he thought his career was going and expresses how dejected he is about the Slaughterhouse split. “I ain’t gonna lie, a lot of this is hard to take / I’m watching them praise the okay and overlook the great / I’m not saying that they ain’t straight / I’m just saying that…never mind, no matter what, they gonna turn this sh*t into hate / So, f*ck it, let it alone / Headphones, dead in a zone / Like Rick and Michonne / I’m feeling better on my own / Took a sec to accept that next time I’m on the road / Won’t be no Crook’, won’t be no Royce, won’t be no Joe.” The Brooklyn, New Yorker covers his life’s ups and downs, and where his head is at now in just under four minutes.

Due to the content and delivery of today’s Rap stars, Joell facetiously apologizes for his intelligence and skills on the hook: “The way I put words together / A lil’ complex or whatever / But still I jot / I’m just speaking from my heart / My bad if I come off smart / I’m just trying to jot / Down a couple lines / And see if y’all like a couple of my rhymes / As I, as I jot.” While the cut is tongue-in-cheek, Joell wants talented lyricists to never apologize for being dope.

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In a statement to AFH, Apollo explains, “’Reflection’ is a super relatable chill joint. Gotta have a card like this one in every deck. I’m pretty sure this was the first song we recorded, so it set an amazing tone for what was to come. Reminiscent thoughts, the feelings of today, and the idea of tomorrow……ain’t no more hungry nights.” Meanwhile, Joell adds, “’Reflection’ is self-explanatory. [It is me] just sharing some of my thoughts and feelings with the listeners. This is one of those songs where the pen was sort of moving on its own and I didn’t stop it. Feels melancholic yet triumphant. Oh well…”

The previous Joell and Apollo single, “Timberlan’d Up” (featuring Royce 5’9), is currently on AFH‘s official playlist.

Press photograph by Photo Rob provided by Mello Music Group.