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Monday

by Joell Ortiz

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  • Streaming + Download

    Pre-order of Monday. You get 3 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    Purchasable with gift card
    releases August 30, 2019

      $9.99 USD  or more

     

1.
Monday (prod. The Lasso)
2.
3.
Sip Slow (prod. Apollo Brown)
4.
Champion (prod. Heatmakerz)
5.
Anxiety (prod. Nottz)
6.
Same Time (prod. Apollo Brown)
7.
8.
Screens (prod. J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League)
9.
Jamaican Food (prod. Heatmakerz)
10.
11.
Momma (feat. Blakk Soul / prod. Nottz)
12.
Grammy (prod. J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League)

about

"I’m back to work. Monday is the start of the week. The grind. Working people normally dread Mondays. Not me though. I embrace them! Feels like another opportunity. Another chance. The beginning of what’s ahead. On “Monday” I talk about life. Old me, new me, and the guy that next Monday may introduce to you all." - Joell Ortiz

Joell Ortiz isn't interested in seeming like a superhero. His new album for Mello Music Group, Monday, is an album about keeping your head down and getting back to work; there’s nothing to do other than to persevere. 

With his new record, Ortiz pays tribute to the qualities that have allowed him to not only survive, but thrive in an unforgiving industry and era. “Monday refers to the idea that no matter how big you get, the hustle to stay on top is always there,” he says. “Monday is the first day to get out and grind.” That urgency can be felt all over the album, from the swaggering “Champion” to the furious opening cut, “Captain.” Beyond and beneath that unifying theme, Monday is littered with Ortiz’s trademark wordplay and verbal pyrotechnics, once again affirming him as one of the rappers most dedicated to the types of lyricism that marked rap’s golden ages.

Ortiz was born in 1980 and grew up in the East Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. When he was just 23 years old, he was highlighted in The Source magazine’s storied Unsigned Hype column, which had predicted the future success of acts like DMX, Common, Cannibal Ox, Eminem, Capone & Noreaga and, perhaps most famously, The Notorious B.I.G. A proud Puerto Rican and unapologetic New Yorker with verve and a rugged intensity to his rhymes, Ortiz seemed perfectly suited to vie for his hometown’s crown in the mid-2000s. His album from 2007, The Brick: Bodega Chronicles, was hailed immediately as a game-changing work that earmarked him as one of his generations unmissable talents.

His masterful technique reached no less than the ears of Dr. Dre, who gave him the ultimate co-sign by signing him to his Aftermath Entertainment. A full-length never hit stores, but it helped Ortiz grow as both a rapper, artist and man. It set the stage for him to become one-quarter of the rap olympian supergroup Slaughterhouse, which built a massive cult following and eventually secured a deal with Shady Records, which led to massive commercial success (topping the Billboard Rap Album charts) This decade has seen him transition from brash upstart to legendary veteran as he’s fleshed out a catalog that now includes mature albums like Free Agent, House Slippers, and his full-length collaboration with Apollo Brown, Mona Lisa, released via Mello last year.

Even while he’s keeping his nose to the grindstone, Ortiz finds a few moments to exhale and reflect. Monday ends with a pair of such songs: “Momma,” a heartfelt ode to the parent who raised Ortiz, and “Grammy,” which rejects the notion that outside validation is needed to qualify a music career as successful. (The juxtaposition of those titles is, of course, just one more bit of wordplay.) But Ortiz is at his warmest and most charming on “Screens,” a lament about how kids today spend so much time with electronic devices at the expense of time outside. Where other rappers would finish such a song sounding like an old scold, Ortiz uses it as a vehicle to reminisce about getting grass stains on his knees and phone numbers from neighborhood girls scrawled on scraps of paper. It’s rooted in the present but still able to conjure the sounds and smells of an era that’s long gone –– the kind of sharp perspective that can only be honed by years of dedicated work at the craft. Monday is a testament to sharpening one’s skills and approach in the face of immeasurable odds.

credits

releases August 30, 2019

Production by The Lasso (1), Heatmakerz (2, 4, 9), Apollo Brown (3, 6), J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League (8, 12), Nottz (5, 11), Big K.R.I.T. (7), & Hesami (10)

Recorded at Diamond District Studios
Mixed & Mastered by Mags
Photography by Jeremy Deputat
Graphic Design by Austin Hart

Executive Produced by Michael Tolle, Erik Stephens & Joell Ortiz

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Joell Ortiz Brooklyn, New York

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Track Name: Captain (prod. Heatmakerz)
I hear niggas like... what’s going on he been missing
He used to run the show, it’s been a long intermission
I remember the mission he was on it was different
He was sick, now my nigga done gone in remission

That’s what y’all think? Y’all think I lost my step
Was on a run, but had to stop and never caught my breath..
I’m drenched, I’m on the bench wit like 4 more reps
In otherwords, I got sh*t left to get off my chest

Coming up you heard the hunger in me, tough as can be
You couldn’t sound cloudy nigga nuttin was free
If u ain’t get a record deal then u was stuck in the pees
Wit dees tryna Spotify had a wonderful stream

Of income, my outcome was suttin to see
I was in the Jeep, sunk in the seat, beats bumping tryna outrap Nasir and Keep up wit Jay Z
Crumbling 16s I was only 16

Fast forward, niggas out here mumbling B
Why be smart? When niggas on the charts dumber than me
A Bunch of bums wit more money than me
So staying Complex, yea that’s a Everyday Struggle for me

I’m from when everybody wanted 5 Mics
And Riggs Morales gave u Unsigned Hype if
You rhyme right
A stretch Armstrong spin was a highlight
And all the mixtapes was 2 for 5 like treys of that Fire white

I understand why some would retire mics,
Pack up turntables the tables turned wild right?
But me I’m in it fully...
it’s like that one bitch I just can’t stop fucking man these beats to something to me

I post up on the throne
Don’t end up on a highlight poster cause you grown
Who u posed to be Malone?
I delivered like Post offices pre post Malone’s
You’d dickride if u saw what I don’t post on my phone


Ey lines a great line baby New York’s Own
It’s like I play for Jim Boeheim Boy stay in that zone
This is my house, trespassing I don’t condone
Let me be don’t be them 2 niggaz from Home Alone

And get iron in face tryna roam where you don’t belong
Brooklyn, Staten, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx I stomps through all of that what happened?
New York I’m so proud to be yo Captain....
Enjoy the rapping
Track Name: Learn You (prod./feat. Big K.R.I.T.)
Had to chase this dream, I was on my grind
Working on my craft, took up all my time
I gotta be where?, I’m there at the drop of a dime
But through all my travels, y’all stayed on my mind

My 2 lil boys, 2 pieces of me
My 2 looks in the mirror, my 2 reasons to be
Sorry i didn't go them places I needed to be
Trips that I missed with your school, games I ain’t root for your team

Seems like yesterday, I would wake up to ya screams
Y’all was crying for bottles When did y’all turn into teens?
Tryna go mustaches, peach fuzz look clean
Ya voices got deeper, make sure u say what you mean

Happy y’all don’t say y’all hate me, for all the time I was away
What good was was the toys If I never stayed there to play
I’m asking you both for forgiveness.. can we start over today?
Y’all don’t have to answer that now... I just wanted to say ..


Hook:

I know that I missed out on em’
Sorry that I’m never there
I tried to get everything you want...
I hope you know I really care...
to Learn You now
To Learn you Now
To Learn you Now
To Learn you Now
To Learn you Now
To Learn you Now
Let me learn, let me learn you now



Verse 2:

I would stare at y’all pictures, on the bus after shows
It was rough on the road, must’ve been tougher at home
Even on the west I’m moving, but that the bus driver know
Find me that Western Union, id send ya mothers some dough..

I’d try to find time, whenever I was alone
Try to get y’all on the phone, just to see what’s going on...
Y’all ain’t lil boys no more, look at how much you have grown
My youngest one taller than me, my olders my skinnier clone

I know that I missed out on ya... Bothers me down to my soul
My lifestyle was outta control
Replace Time with the money, trade that I tried to barter
So you daddy would pop up.. but i ain’t show up as yo father

Praying y’all let me change that, I have so much to offer
Life will come at you at god speed, Please use my ears as the alter
I’m Asking you both for forgiveness, can we start over today?
Y’all don’t have to answer that now.. I just wanted to say

Hook:

I know that I missed out on em’
Sorry that I’m never here
I tried to get everything you want
I hope you know I really care..
To Learn You now
To Learn you Now
To Learn you Now
Let me learn
Now now now now now ..
Track Name: Before Hip-Hop (prod. Hesami)
Big boy toys that clap like a dirty bitch box
Ladders attached with 36 shots Inserted and cocked
You ain’t gotta take my word this shit pop
Ask around how I circled these blocks before Hip Hop

Sandwich baggies, drop it in , and tie knots
Invite my favorite fiend over to come and try rocks
Dope the only thing stamped inside my mailbox
Folded money til the rubber bands popped before Hip Hop

Old E, St Ides and Valentine Ale
Dutch masters, Phillys and White Owl smells
L train to Linden and Powell to roll L’s
Token booths nigga, no vocal booths before Hip Hop..

Whole different dude.. I’m rolling to you
I got a dub that I don’t fold to that deuce
Eything good even yo nasty ass shoes now here’s my Moment of truth .... Yea, that was life Before Hip Hop

Hook:
You Think u know me, you don’t really know me
Back in my hood I’m still the one and only
Before these music projects, I’m the projects homie
Y’all just see the new me, y’all don’t know the the old me

Before these beats was trapping, I was out there trapping
Before these birds was rapping, I was bird wrapping
Before the fans was clapping, it was cans clapping
No bank accounts, hand to hand transactions..

Before Hip Hop Verse 2:

A bunch of candles in the lobby, who got laid to rest?
Empty bottles near the flicks, I know the wake is next
I’m from a place where people walk around with major stress..
don’t say something you’ll regret
Before Hip Hop uhh

I was crazy fresh .. Trapping in my Avirex
Blue Yankee fitted, 501s above the Navy checks
I Never had to beg for pussy, bitches gave me sex
I left all the drugs at they address
Before Hip Hop

Shit ya boy was out there tryna survive
Too lazy for a 9 to 5 I bought a 9 and got live
Til it jammed .. said goodbye next day went outside
And bought that pretty 38 it’s on the lap in my ride right...

It wasn’t all about these verses and words
It was being 1st to the curb from the 1st to the 3rd
It was bout staying alert, you see em lurking you swerve..
to this day, I thank God I ain’t get Locked before Hip Hop

Hook:

You Think u know me, you don’t really know me
Back in my hood I’m still the one and only
Before these music projects, I’m the projects homie
Y’all just see the new me, y’all don’t know the the old me

Before these beats was trapping, I was out there trapping
Before these birds was rapping, I was bird wrapping
Before the fans was clapping, it was cans clapping
No bank accounts, hand to hand transactions..

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