Joell Ortiz, 'Free Agent' (E1/Koch)

7
Free Agent
Critical Mass
Label: E1/Koch

by J Gabriel Boylan

In rap circles, potential is a double-edged sword. And a line like "Never see me in magazines / But I'm the source" is where youthful boasting meets mid-career anxiety. This Brooklyn MC's second proper album (after a raft of mixtapes) refers to his liberation from Dr. Dre's Aftermath imprint, and it's a booming, Chevy-ready, club-averse reintroduction (with production from DJ Premier, DJ Khalil, and others). Ortiz's husky, furiously paced vocals enliven familiar subjects -- gangsta struggle ("One Shot," "Start to Fade"), lyricism ("Nursery Rhymes"), and substance abuse (the perfectly structured motivational tale "Night Train").

00:00 00:00 No Song Selected More info
00:00 00:00
placeholder
Now Playing
  • 1 Chris Brown & Trey Songz — Tuesday (Remix) " 04:26
  • 2 Buzzcocks — "It's Not You" " 02:46
  • 3 The Drums — Magic Mountain " 04:05
  • 4 Jessie Ware — Kind Of...Sometimes...Maybe " 03:46
  • 5 Flying Lotus — Coronus, the Terminator " 02:40
  • 6 JEFF The Brotherhood — Gouge Away " 02:52

SPIN is a member of SPIN Music Group, a division of BUZZMEDIA