If you’re still not convinced that Novel is a bona fide jack of all musical trades and styles, take a listen to this new cut off Joell Ortiz’ forthcoming LP, Free Agent. Stand Up was personally delivered to the Booth by the ATL singer/songwriter/emcee/producer, accompanied by the caveat that his production for other artists was far from what fans could expect on his own debut (The Audiobiography, out this June), but the synth-driven instrumental he contributes here, not to mention his soulful hook, easily stand on their own merits. Ortiz’ triumphant verses are equally noteworthy; the Slaughterhouse rapper manages to avoid the ‘motivational record’s biggest pitfall, preachiness, by keeping things sincere, humble, and personal as he describes his climb to the top. Above all, it’s clear that Joell’s enjoying his newfound artistic freedom, a fact that bodes very well for his sophomore studio album (due out this summer).
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