"House Slippers" evolves with its creator.
"I wanted to lose weight. I just wanted to become a better person," he said. "Through that—through losing weight and stop smoking cigarettes and slowed down heavily on drinking, I started seeing things differently. Literally, I started feeling different. It’s like my eyes opened up; it wasn’t so cloudy in that Rock star life. It wasn’t alcohol, and girls in the back of the bus, and things like that. It’s just grown and mature, like, “Yo, you’ve got to do this.” ‘Cause I honestly feel like this is a very important album for me. It took 18 months and I lost almost 100 pounds. I really sat with myself and started learning more things about myself. And then, I just started writing. I wasn’t even recording, I was just writing about my day-to-day, ideas, what I want to do, what I want to accomplish—not even rhymes, just writing and keeping the pen moving. So I’d write a song or two and then [go to record it]. It was very, very, very organic."
Initially titled Yaowa, the LP evolved with the emcee. House Slippers' title spawned from this evolution. Ortiz describes the album's concept as coming from a place of comfort where he can speak his mind.
"The way I came up with House Slippers was, when I listen to the album, I’m not afraid, man," he claimed. "I’m very comfortable with myself. I don’t care what anybody’s gonna think. This is the first time I can honestly say that. I don’t care if they go, “Word? That happened?” or “He’s okay with sayin’ that?” I don’t care! In so many ways, this album is only for me. But I swear it’s gonna be for everybody who feels like me. Once I found my comfortable place as a human being, I wanted to find a name that equated that comfort. When are you most comfortable, Joell? Sitting on my couch, in my house slippers, with the remote in my hand, just doing what I want to do."
House Slippers is slated to hit store shelves later this year. Meanwhile, you can check out Slaughterhouse's latest mixtape House Rules (featuring plenty of verses from Joell) right here. Still not enough? Check out the reader-acclaimed "Music Saved My Life" right here.