This one is from 2007, at another site I write for (now), Metal Lungies. My boy DJ01 did the interview, there’s some funny shit about Joell’s favorite karaoke tune in here
MetalLungies: What’s going on, man?
Joell Ortiz: I’m chilling, man. You chilling today, you good?
ML: Yeah, yeah, I’m good.
JO: All right.
ML: The first thing I want to ask you is, for those that don’t know, for those that have been sleeping, tell them, who is Joell Ortiz?
JO: Man, Joell Ortiz is a Puerto Rican dude from in front of a corner store in Brooklyn that just been grinding and doing everything it takes to be a rapper, from dropping his first twelve inch on Rawkus Records in 1999, being Source Unsigned Hype, XXL Chairman’s Choice because of his shows, and being Live ‘05 freestyle battle winner. I’ve done songs with Kool G Rap, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, the OGs co-sign me.. I rapped live on Stretch Armstrong’s show in ‘98 as a kid, so I’ve pretty much been in rap for the last ten years.
ML: All right, all right. When did you start rhyming, and when did you decide to make a career out of it?
JO: I started rhyming about 1991 as a kid, when I first came out my project building and seen what a cipher looked like, and how much love you got to make two words rhyme at the end of a sentence, that’s when I first started rhyming. I made it serious in about ‘97 when my boy Dennis put me in the studio and I listened to myself over a beat and that was pretty much it for me, I said this is what I’m gonna do.