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Joell Ortiz, ‘The Brick (Bodega Chronicles)’ (Koch)

Joell Ortiz, the latest artist signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath imprint, is well aware of his niche. On “Hip Hop,” he raps, “I don’t try to make you dance / I rip beats.” And on this warm-up to his major-label debut, the spirited rapper breezes through four 125-bar epics — the average song contains 48. The coarse production (gritty keys, straight loops, little instrumentation) actually complements his husky vocals, but are three songs about his hometown (“BQE,” “Brooklyn Bullshit,” “Brooklyn [Remix]”) really necessary?

Now Watch This: Joell Ortiz – “Hip-Hop” WINDOWS MEDIA HIGH | LOW