Joell Ortiz Pays Homage To Craig Mack In New Black-and-White Video, Before Hip-Hop

Brooklyn emcee Joell Ortiz is easily one of the best emcees in all of Hip-Hop right now and with a week till his newest solo album, Monday, is released on Aug. 30th, he gives us another new taste from the album.  As he recently debuted the new Devon Johnson-directed video, Before Hip-Hop.

Produced by Hesami, the new single sounds like a breath of fresh air, which has Ortiz rhyming about how his life was growing up in the Cooper Park Projects of Brooklyn, before Hip-Hop.  The new visual, which is shot in black-and-white paying homage to Craig Mack’s classic, Flava In Ya Ear Remix video and according to Ortiz done purposely too.

“The ‘Before Hip Hop’ video is black and white by design,” Joell said in a statement.  “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.  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.”

So are we Joell, so are we.  Thank god for Hip-Hop.