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When you’re at your most centered and comfortable, you can do your best work. That was definitely the case for Joell Ortiz. The acclaimed Brooklyn rapper’s third full-length album and first for the newly re-launched Penalty Entertainment, House Slippers, reflects his confidence and charisma as an artist not only in its title but most importantly in the music.
In the winter of 2012, the MC decided to make a few big changes in his life, and they would immensely impact the course of his latest opus.
“It started when I decided to lose this weight, stop smoking cigarettes, and adopt a healthy mindset,” he admits. “I wanted a change in my life. I got tired of waking up fucking hungover, not feeling my best, and not wanting to work. I took that frustration to the treadmill. From the treadmill, I took it to the studio. I was able to see clearer without that cloud of bullshit. I could talk about things more openly and go more in-depth.”
He immersed himself in recording. First, he delivered a standout showing on hip-hop super group Slaughterhouse’s second full-length album, welcome to: OUR HOUSE, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the Top Rap Albums chart in late 2012. After coming off the road from a world tour alongside the likes of Eminem, the artist turned all of his attention to House Slippers. He channeled the gusto of his celebrated debut The Brick: Bodega Chronicles and 2009’s Free Agent, while embracing a newfound fire and focus. He started recording with producer !llmind [50 Cent, Scarface] at his home studio. Together they worked on "Dream On", "Better Than", and the title track.
“The album seems triumphant,” he smiles. “It’s a journey. You get the old me all the way up to the new me—and everything in between. I’ll never stop being raw. That’s going to linger no matter what. However, this time it’s thought-out. It’s New York and edgy, but in a vivid way. The projects in Brooklyn raised me so you’ll never lose that grit and competitive hunger in my voice. Now, there’s a balance though.”
Jim Jones, is an American hip hop recording artist from Harlem, New York City, New York. Jones, an original member of hip hop collective The Diplomats (also known as Dipset), is also the co-CEO of Diplomat Records, alongside childhood friend and fellow Harlem-based rapper Cam’ron. Jones is also a noted music video director under the pseudonym CAPO, having directed videos for artists including Cam'ron, Juelz Santana, Remy Ma and State Property.
In 2004, he released his solo debut studio album On My Way to Church. The release of his second album, Harlem: Diary of a Summer in 2005, coincided with Jones' landing an executive position in A&R at E1 Music. A year later he was on his third album Hustler's P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment) (2006), which spawned his biggest single to date currently, "We Fly High". The song reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In 2006, Jones also formed the hip hop group ByrdGang and launched ByrdGang Records. The group released their debut album M.O.B.: The Album, under the newly found label in 2008. Jones followed up with his fourth solo album Pray IV Reign, which was released in March 2009, under Columbia Records. The album spawned the hit single "Pop Champagne". On April 5, 2011 Jones released his fifth studio album, Capo, which was supported by the lead single "Perfect Day".
Sai Bills style is definitely unique. His lyrics are laced with braggadocio as well as truth. He took the challenges that life and the music industry threw his way and turned them into lyrical masterpieces. Early on his career took him to NYC, NJ, Miami, DC, ATL, Chicago, VA, Seattle, and Van City. He was competing in showcases and winning, but that wasn’t enough. To add to the stress of not seeing the fruits of his labor, his significant other was in the fight of her life battling breast cancer. Although born and raised in New Jersey, he knew that he needed to make a change. He and his wife made the conscious decision to relocate to Houston, Texas.
He figured that if he had a chance to make it anywhere, Texas would be the place. Houston is the home of some of Hip Hop’s greatest rap legends! With each of his Houston performances, he verbally and mentally annihilated the competition. Sai Bills has caught the attention of some of Houston’s known influences in the industry. His work ethic and attention to detail has landed him a partnership with Atlanta’s legendary DJ JELLY and Germany’s finest DJ HOTSAUCE early in his career. He also has a strong lineage in entertainment being related to the legendary comedic entrepreneur Mr. BOB SUMNER. Anyone that hears his music instantly becomes a fan. Sai Bills is the complete package. His overall demeanor is easygoing but his stature commands attention
No matter what is being supplied, a hustler is only as good as his word. With Atlanta serving up some of the hottest product in the rap game, native son Young Jeezy stands as one of the most exciting merchants of cool to emerge in years. Thanks to underground testimonials like “Air Forces” and “Chuuch,” Jeezy’s street swagger and authentic style has quickly made believers out of some the biggest players in the game, from Fabolous to P. Diddy. In his native Atlanta, and throughout the south, Young Jeezy has created nothing short of a movement. Now the world will get to find out what insiders have been buzzing about when his Def Jam debut, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 drops this summer.
Like many hustlers on the mic, rapping wasn’t in Jeezy’s original game plan. As CEO of Corporate Thug Entertainment, Jeezy was content to stack his paper from the background.
“Before music I was just trying to survive out this motherfucker. I had other artists, some local cats off the street, but it didn’t work out,” explains the twenty-five year old Georgia native. “So I just decided to do it myself. Ain’t nobody gonna go as hard as you gonna go. I saw the bigger picture at the time. I have a way with words and I know how to hustle.”
Beginning with his 1993 debut, Gas Chamber, C-BO made it clear that he planned on surprising rap listeners with his controversial lyrics, which would eventually land him in jail. Of course, the hardcore Californian's steady rise towards continued popularity increased year by year, with an album being released nearly every year following his jaw-dropping debut. With album titles such as Autopsy and Tales From the Crypt, C-BO quickly attained a cult following, similar to the small legions of listeners swarming perverse rappers such as Esham, Brotha Lynch Hung, and Three Six Mafia.
Yet as C-BO began to mature as an artist, he moved away from exploitative themes, though he still ranked among the West Coast's most extreme hardcore rappers. By the time his 1998 album, Till My Casket Drops, the Cali rapper found himself debuting at number 41 on Billboard's Top 200 album chart, an amazing feat for such an underground rapper. In 2000 -- after oddly being jailed in 1998 for his lyrical content -- he released Enemy of the State on Warlock, continuing his climb to recognition.