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#20 Cortez


Bars/Wordplay 9

"Oh it's the Bloods you reppin, you Manny Pacquao ***** your bloods in question." Another one who doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the work he’s put in, Cortez has a pen that every MC should respect. From bars to wordplay to schemes to personals Cortez can push his pen to do it all, and while people try to find reasons to say Cor ain’t hot - they can never front on his penmanship at all.

Delivery/Performance 9

"All I see is the white devil, him? a slight rebel, I squeeze get my blaow on, creep the street or we gon beef til the cows gone, the scope perimeter'd his block, about a mile long, a son of a gun but I clap like a proud mom."Another reason it’s strange that so many want to discredit him, considering that Tez has a mean delivery to go with his wordplay and there’s nothing to not like about his performance at all. Cortez delivery is so strong he honestly confused Raekwon back in the day into thinking it was something that it wasn’t (Lionz Den vs Head Ice), only for years later to perform in front of Rae again and show him exactly what it was (KOTD - Hollohan). To be honest Cor has a better delivery than most, and for those who want to disagree they need to start articulating why.

Originality 10

"I been through it all, from gun brawls cut scars, we both Rican, but that flag was only made for one star" Perhaps the first Hispanic rapper to get national exposure as a battle rap MC, Cortez has redefined the preconceived notions of what’s expected from his culture (consistent with Raekwon’s unfair criticism of him in his early days), while breaking down doors for other Hispanic rappers to follow (Jimz, Una Lavoz, J Murda, etc.)

Versatility/Jokes 9

"Who is this *****?... Gerarld Fulton, I know who went to school with this *****, and Tony Yayo won't want nothin to do with this *****, once I Fat Joe, Cam'ron, and start Ja Rulin this *****, I ain't through with this *****, you did a track with Murphy Lee, you ain't cool with the *****, he charged you for that verse bitch, who woulda figured every time I youtube and google this *****, all I see is footage of Young Ill doin this *****" Although his presentation for the most part stays the same, Cortez actually is versatile from the standpoint that he comes up with something unique for his opponent every time. By no surprise Cor is actually underrated again (notice the theme) regarding his creativity with personals, and in essence just making sure there’s an actual point to the rounds and not just aimless bars that would be good for anyone. As far as jokes Cor can get a reaction from the crowd with humor as well, and separate from freestyling there’s really nothing that he can’t do.

Freestyle/Rebuttals 8

"You called me an apple farmer last round and my feelings were hurt, but I guess since I'm from the rotton apple, you think I'd be easy pickings, and you plan(t) to pocket, but I'm raising (raison) two pairs (pears) that can arrange (orange) and bury (berry) you, unless them grapes can squash it." Clearly written but amazing wordplay all the same and he even flipped it in the middle of the round like da don do. Yet at times Cortez feels compelled to freestyle (Lions Helmet?) even while he’s the type of MC who is far more better when he sticks to his writtens, in which case he prepares as well as anyone and it makes all the more sense to stick to do what he does best. At the same time however his premeditated rebuttal game is pretty cold, with his most impressive moment against Dizaster when he flipped this scheme so well that once again you’d be playing yourself if you said he doesn’t have wordplay.

watch the interview

Impact/Brand 8

"Introduce me to big buyers, like Rex and Mook, if battled them I'd swear I'd be coming off, but Smack gave me him... the fuck did I do something wrong?" Although it’s more than likely no fault of his own, like the Bill Collectors and Ill Wills who are on this list with superlative abilities despite a limited fan base, Cor can only wonder why his brand isn’t what it should be in comparison to the MCs he started with (Hitman, Conceited, etc.). Yet while most people sleep on his talent you shouldn’t question his impact, as he’s achieved a lot in this game whether he’s marketed himself well or not.

Views/Numbers/Multiple Formats 8

"ICE, you're 40 plus you just got nice, nah, it's just not right, you just got hype, see I'd stomp em out but I'd scuff my Nikes." Cortez does decent numbers in regards to what’s expected based on reputation, yet honestly he has footage that was classic and should have went triple (Hitman, Hollahan). Nonetheless both of those are still over a mil making them his highest viewed battles, with a battle at 900K with Conceited not far behind. However it’s surprising and unfortunate that his other profile matches have relatively low numbers, such as 700K with Tay Roc and only 500K with Dizaster, both on major platforms which is a testament to the amount of people who may not be giving Tez a chance.

No Stumbles/Chokes 8

"Come through squeeze the blood... mmmmm.....Matter fact... hold on... damn I fucked that up all the way I can't believe that shit.... I ain't gonna choke tho.... I need that shit....*flatline*..." Tez has stumbled before and has even choked a few times, most notably on Total Slaughter where he was given only 8 hours prep (a big difference from months in advance but still enough time for an MC), and also back in the Grind Time days when he messed up his rhymes and called his opponent a Lions helmet which of course didn’t make any sense.

watch the interview

Stays Active/Consistency 9

"Tech 9 bodybag, Cyserro bodybag, if Reed get cute I'mma put his bodybag in a bodybag" Cortez is as active as he should be and all stumbles aside he’s rather consistent too. The only real issue is that he hasn't getting recognition for the work that he puts in.

Bodybags 9

"Every drug that Bruce did, you dealed it yourself, every line on the table, capsule and every tablet, you're the worst kind of friend, you influenced his every habit, he got high from within, he hid his vulnerabilities, and since you taught him how to get high, i think I'll teach you about responsibility, REAL FRIENDS hope you make yourself, if I was him as a fake friend I would hate myself, all the roids and the cocaine, I would hate my health, IF I'M THE REASON MY MANS DEAD, I WOUD TAKE MYSELF" BODYBAG...... And although he’s decisively lost high profile battles (Tay Roc, Jimz) he’s also clearly won significant matchups (Dizaster, Head Ice), and his performance vs Hollahan is one of the greatest bodybags in battle rap history - in which case he put together a scheme that 99% of the game couldn’t match in relevance.

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