Joell Ortiz Joins The Greats In Making A Heartfelt Dedication To His Mother (Audio)
Late last year, Joell Ortiz released one of his most revered works in Mona Lisa, a collaborative album with producer Apollo Brown. Since then, the Brooklyn, New York veteran has hardly sat still. He opened the year with a joint project, Gorilla Glue, alongside Fred The Godson that was produced by veteran Dipset suppliers, The Heatmakerz. In early summer, the Slaughterhouse co-founder reunited with his Grammy Award-winning No Panty band-mate Salaam Remi for BoxTalk.
Ahead of the holiday weekend, Joell dropped his latest full-length solo affair. Monday stays the course with Mello Music Group, the label behind Mona Lisa (which fans voted as one of 2018’s best Rap albums). While Apollo produces two tracks, an ensemble including Big K.R.I.T., Nottz, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, and Heatmakerz is also involved.
The 12 songs that find Joell seeking other trophies than Grammy’s, confronting anxieties, and condemning screen addiction. However, a highlight is “Momma,” featuring singer Blakk Soul. In a crowded canon of dedications to moms that includes Tupac, Kanye West, Ghostface Killah, and many others, Joell breathes fresh air through lyrics.
“Mama miss me, makes her sad, but she happy when I’m leaving / Always tells me go with God, I keep Jesus right here with me / Mama’s eyes used to tear up for a different set of reasons / We won’t talk about those nights, let’s just focus on these evenings / We be watching flicks together on her old LED TV / Order food from anywhere or she chef up some baked ziti / That’s my grandma recipe, we both miss her, yes indeed / We agree, mama gon’ live it up while granny rest in peace / Mama, mama, I’m emotional ’cause God keep blessing me / I stopped by, you wasn’t there, Pat said you had therapy / I forgot you go and chat with Miss Gonzalez every Tuesday / Helps you cope with all your losses and remind you it’s a new day,” says Joell speaking specifically to his experience and his mother’s condition. Written as a note or a voicemail to his mom, the Rap vet’ says he hid some money in her dresser, a far cry from their lifestyle in BK’s Cooper Houses.
That mission to move ahead is the theme of the second and last verse over the Nottz production. “I be trying not to think about a life without you with me / But these years is moving fast, I can’t believe that you’ll be 60 / Please don’t hit me for just screaming out your age into the public / But you still look 40 something, you should love it / I remember I would wake you up with raps while you was sleeping / Loose leaf paper in my hand, half awoke, you said, ‘Keep reading’ / Mama, I just got the chills, we ain’t worried ’bout the bills / All the cereals is real, we ain’t munching on no frills / I ain’t doing drug deals, you ain’t using drugs still / No more mice across the floor, you like how them rugs feel / Mama, mama, look at us, ‘Member things was looking rough? / Daddy looked the other way; they looked at us with such disgust / But now things are looking up / So here’s a song for the only face I saw when I looking off that bus.”
As he did so well last year, Joell Ortiz is rapping from the heart and still using those compound rhymes and clever cadences. Nottz is in the midst of a tremendous year, including work with Rapsody, Murs, and Little Brother, among others. Last year, he partnered with Bumpy Knuckles for Pop Duke, Vol 1.
“Momma” and other Joell songs are currently featured on the official Ambrosia For Heads playlist.
#BonusBeat: Stream/support Monday by Joell Ortiz:
Press photograph provided by MAC Media Promo.