Sometimes it seems like no one does it the way Brooklyn rapper Joell Ortiz does. With a cadence that seemingly drops verses with ease, a free-flowing rhyme scheme, and talent to for days. Today the prolific emcee shares the video for his single “Before Hip-Hop,” taken from the forthcoming album Monday (Mello Music Group), dropping August 30. The video pays homage to Craig Mack’s classic Flava In Ya Ear RMX music video, and Ortiz teams up with director Devon Johnson to bring history to life.
“The “Before Hip Hop” video is black and white by design. I didn’t want to dress it up. I wanted it to remain as cut and dry and honest as possible. I wanted the camera in my face so the viewer could look in my eyes and see that it’s pure” Joell commented. “Before Hip Hop, I was a different person. I grew up in a rough environment that made me behave, respond and live in a certain way. I lost childhood friends (whose photos flash in and out of the video) way before I could even fully comprehend death. Yet, I found ways to smile, have fun and enjoy the hood with the homies almost every day. A simple video for the simple truth of a rapper from Cooper Park House in Brooklyn, NY. I’m just happy to be here.”