And we are back with our sixth official review! As promised, the below are our metrics for our reviews. To see our previous review of EVE X RAPSODY, click here.

FEEL- What type of feelings do the music invoke? What does it make you want to do?
LYRICS- Are there bars?
PRODUCTION- Does the artist ride the beats? Does their cadence match the production? Does the production fit well with the project?
OVERALL- How many tracks to we like compared to the number of tracks on the project?

Feel free to use the above for your own reference as you go through the music and let us know what you think! 

Release Date: 8.30.2019
Number of Tracks: 12
Duration: 39 MINS
Favorite Track: Same Time

The year is 2014, and fans are still patiently awaiting the debut album of one aforementioned Cyhi The Prynce. Instead fans were left with his cyphers from the TeamBackPack group. These cyphers were good for exposing us to new artists however, and one of these was Joell Ortiz. Following behind Cyhi, the Brooklyn rapper caught my attention with his own bars, and his drops have been checked for ever since. To listen to that cypher yourself, click here. I heard a song or two from a few of his ensuing projects, but my attention was not caught until the 2018 album with legendary producer Apollo Brown titled, “Mona Lisa.”  In my opinion, it should have been in conversation for the album of the year, and when I saw, “Monday,” was out as his next official release, I could not wait to dive into it.
Joell Ortiz is what I would describe as a “story time,” rapper. Story time rappers are probably one of the oldest class of rappers in the book, as they use their words to paint pictures of things that may or may not have happened to them. On Monday, Joell tells quite a few stories, to the backdrop of the importance of the day, as many of us do not look forward to Mondays. On the song, Same Time, he tells the story of his stint in jail, and on the song Sip Slow he recounts the thoughts that run through his head as he sips wine. On the song Learn You, featuring Big KRIT, he tells his sorrows from his job preventing from being in his child’s lives, and on the song Screens, he explains impact of technology on the perpetual lack of children’s desire to play outside. And finally, on the song Anxiety, he recounts his own dealings with the condition that many do not expect for artists to have to deal with. While this can be one of the most valuable forms of rapping, it is limiting in the sense that these are generally not songs you can just have on in the background.
Raps that tell stories are the strongest in terms of lyrics, as the limitations of telling the story can make it difficult to come up with rhymes. If these stories can be told thoughtfully, while still providing the rhythm and flow of a song, you know you are listening to an artist with talent. Joell shows unquestionable talent throughout the album, and it stands to be one of the better albums we have heard this year.
“I wonder if my girl livin right
An OG told me never call in the mornin or night
Cause if a nigga spent the night, he probably still there
I play chess wit my homie in the wheelchair
Never once asked him how he got in there
I never beat him either, but shit I don’t care
Them stories he tell make me feel like I got pulled outta here.”
-        Joell Ortiz, Same Time

Unlike Mona Lisa, Monday is not an album produced exclusively by one legendary producer. Sip Slow and Same Time specifically provide excellent production, with well-done samples and a rhythmic tone provided by Ortiz. Joell’s cadence lends itself well to melodic beats, usually including a sample or two. As a result, the production on Monday is sample heavy, and allows for him to rap in his preferred style. While it is not the strongest part of the album, it certainly does not provide any glaring weaknesses, and thus does fit well with the projects. Same Time however is our favorite track on the album, and when we checked the production credits, we found out why: it was produced by Apollo Brown himself.
Monday comes complete with what every album should, especially one that is based on the telling of stories. The lyrics are some of the best of the year, and the production does not do anything to hamper their effect. Joell raps in an aggressive, decided fashion that delivers his point while riding the waves set by his production. His content is clear and concise, and even at its core- is extremely thoughtful. Rappers can have a tendency to either be too transparent, or not transparent at all, and I think Joell Ortiz does a great job of finding a smooth medium. Still yet, not every story needs to be told, and their nature can impact a person’s desire to replay the album. Of the 12 tracks, 6 of them land in the current rotation, for a final score of 6 out of 12. This score can be misleading because 2 of them, (Sip Slow and Same Time,) will remain in the permanent rotation. Most rappers are lucky to make just one song of my permanent rotation, let alone two!  This project is certainly worth a listen, but let us know what you think in the comments below!

9.19.2019 – The Oracle
Edited by MJG Story Creation


Popular Posts