Never underestimate the power of the Yaowa. When Joell Ortiz grabs the mic, the Brooklyn-bred MC does two things: raps his ass off and bodies his competition. Freestyling doesn’t come easy for every rapper but that’s not the case for the ‘House Slippers’ creator. He’s mastered the art of dropping lyrical bombs with aplomb. Ten years of navigating through hip-hop circles and working alongside the likes of Dr. Dre and Eminem is also reason enough for him to throw out more than a few boastful rhymes off the top.

As part of The Boombox’s 16 Bars series, the Slaughterhouse member steps up to showcase his keen ability to freestyle. In case listeners forgot, he gives a bold reminder that New York never leaves the rap discussion as long as he’s around. And besides getting busy on the mic, Ortiz shares memories of his very first time entering a project cypher, the inspiration he found during the golden age of hip-hop and breaks down the levels of MCing.

Experience Joell Ortiz’s skills firsthand above and get to know more of his lyrical mindset below.