Joell Ortiz has most recently been in the news for getting on top of his fitness game, but nearly a decade ago Joell was doing his best as a new artist climbing to the top of the rap game. In the above interview shot during the 2005 Puerto Rican Day Parade, Ortiz is quick to shout out XXL, the Source Magazine, and Hot 97, demonstrating some of the pull he already had with those who keep their ear to the streets. The creators of NBA Live had also by that time featured the rapper in their 2005 version of the ubiquitous video game, giving Joell some mainstream recognition among the masses. The rapper plugs his then-new mixtape, Who The F*@k Is Joell Ortiz, hints at an upcoming album, and brags about being in talks with some industry cats about a deal. The way he closes the interview demonstrates that his pride at being a rapper of Hispanic descent has been there from the beginning.

Ortiz would go on to ink a deal with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label in 2006, release the album he mentions in the video, The Brick (Bodega Chronicles), the following year, and form Slaughterhouse with Crooked I, Joe Budden, and Royce da 5’9” the year after that.

-Sterling Sackey