Joell Ortiz & KXNG Crooked met the year they both won XXL's coveted Freshmen of the Year Award. Their careers are as legendary as any in the rap game. Joell Ortiz started by signing to Dr. Dre's Aftermath label, then moving to Shady Records as part of the supergroup Slaughterhouse with Joe Budden, Royce 5'9, and KXNG Crooked.
Meanwhile, KXNG Crooked was signed to Virgin Records at just 17 before joining Death Row Records. He's had a flourishing solo career including collaborations along the way with Tech N9ne, 2Pac, Benny The Butcher, Raekwon, Akon, Ray J and more.
After recently reconvening on Eminem's newest album 'Music To Be Murdered By' (during a recent fan chat to celebrate the 20th anniversary of 'The Marshall Mathers LP', Eminem named Crooked his most underrated rapper), one-half of Slaughterhouse have come back together for a new joint project, 'H.A.R.D.', which will be released tonight at midnight.
"This 'H.A.R.D.' project is an audio painting from me and my brother Crook. We share similar stories in both life and the music business. The common denominator being the struggle. We take you on a ride over production from Heatmakerz, ILL Mind, J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, Apollo Brown, Erick Sermon and more!! I suggest you put on your headphones and close your eyes for this one." –Joell Ortiz
On the eve of the project's release, Joell and Crooked let one more track go; "Lose My Mind" which also features Blakk Soul.
"'Lose My Mind' is the story of little Joell growing up in the N.Y.C.H.A. system. The struggles, the hardships, the sacrifices, and the realities. The hand I was dealt sucked" Joell recalled. "I'm so happy I shuffled and played my way outta there. I still deal with the effects of that upbringing to this day. Godspeed though."
"Bad things happened in my past. I can't change any of it, but I can change the way I view those situations. I choose to learn from the past and apply what I've learned to the now" Crooked affirmed. "Einstein said everything is energy… I think we tapped into the energy and frequency of the hood on this one to let them know we are them and they are us."
Joell & Crooked's 'H.A.R.D.' features production from illMind, Erick Sermon, Apollo Brown, Heatmakerz & J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and will be released at midnight tonight via Mello Music Group.
You can now purchase, add, and favorite 'H.A.R.D.' at your preferred DSP!!!