Joell Ortiz gives back to the Hood

Like another great Brooklyn rapper, Joell Ortiz is for the children. For his sophomore album, Free Agent, the newly independent spitter is donating a large portion of profits to buy computers for kids from his neighborhood.

Ortiz will contribute two PCs to four housing projects in the Williamsburg-Bushwick-Greenpoint area: Williamsburg Houses, Borinquen Plaza, Bushwick/John Francis Hylan Houses, Cooper Project and two additional computers to children in need in the surrounding community. Ortiz is bestowing a total of 10 computers.

The giveaways will be facilitated through donations from local businesses/individuals and to, and a percentage from sales of Free Agent CD's. Joell's street/Internet teams will also create awareness for a benefit/release party on October 13th to raise further funds for the project.

The event marks the release of Free Agent, Ortiz's first album in a year, which drops October 14th and contains appearances by TK and production from TK.

This project is dear to Ortiz. Growing up in Williamsburg's Cooper Projects, he and his friends had limited access to computers and technology. "My whole world was the 13 buildings of Cooper Projects," Ortiz recalls. "I want kids in my neighborhood to know a world outside of these surroundings."

In recognition of that, Ortiz is asking neighborhood children to write short essays explaining how the addition of a computer could change their life. "I've had the opportunity, through working with people like Dr. Dre, to change my life," Ortiz says. "We want to give these computers to kids that are equally as driven and passionate about changing their life."

This isn't Ortiz's first charitable venture. On his last full-length, 2007's The Brick (The Bodega Chronicles), he donated two computers to Cooper's community center. He is looking forward to expanding his mission this year. "It really moves me to know that I will be able to change lives in the neighborhood where I grew up."

More details can be found on and

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