Joell Ortiz, ‘Free Agent’ (E One)
Brooklyn’s Pillsbury corner boy (and Slaughterhouse member) pops fresh rhymes about project life’s ills with such high-spirited, ingloriously precise detail that he renders voyeurism unseemly — hence his limited commercial appeal. The title of this re-recorded version of his leaked second album (featuring a half-dozen new tracks) refers to a scrapped deal with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath imprint, and Free Agent rolls its shoulders with a froggy local-hero smirk. Producers DJ Premier and Just Blaze, and guest bullies the L.O.X. and Fat Joe, fuel the pissy-staircase East Coast ambience.