Label: eOne Music
Joell Ortiz's improbable comeback continues with Free Agent. Technically a reference to his aborted deal with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records, it charts the Bronx bomber's struggle to bring raw lyricism to an industry overridden with pop gimmicks. "Watching all these corny n*ggas come up, it was aggravating," he says in "One Shot (Killed For Less)," one of several tracks that blend Ortiz's gritty raps with bluesy rock beats. Just Blaze delivers an insane beat for "Battle Cry," and an Al Green loop backs "Call Me (She Said)," Ortiz's bittersweet tale of high school heartbreak.