Release Date: Aug 11, 2009
Record label: E1
Slaughterhouse :: SlaughterhouseE1 MusicAuthor: Steve 'Flash' Juon"Lyrical murderer, blame RakimI'm a sniper shootin my way into your lame top tenPistol at your head if I ain't next to EminemThen I bust in your face like Lil' KimNiggaz better pray to the lyrical Lordthat I fall off like the umbilical cord before I fill up the morgueThis is how a killer recordwith the double-edged triple syllable sword, I'm iller than allDineri, seem I'm a literary geniusBury niggaz with words, a cemetery linguistMost rappers are comedy goldThey like they boyfriend's sodomy hole, they full of SHIT!" Parental advisory - driving around while listening to the self-titled Slaughterhouse album can be dangerous to your health. Possible symptoms include swerving uncontrollably due to spontaneous mirth and wrapping your shit around a telephone pole due to tears of laughter blinding your vision. The fearsome foursome of Joe Budden, Crooked I, Royce Da 5'9" and Joell Ortiz aren't playing around on their self-titled debut.
While this supergroup represents three different geographical flavors of hip-hop -- Joe Budden and Joel Ortiz both from the East, Crooked I from the West, and Royce Da 5'9" coming out of Detroit -- their self-titled debut Slaughterhouse brings to mind the fiercest offerings from the N.Y.C. groups Mobb Deep and M.O.P. The album is tough, cold, and relentless to the point that you could call it limited, but unlike the aforementioned duos who act as traditional crews do, Slaughterhouse present their lyrics in a roundtable fashion.
Every year the hip-hop community hypes about a handful of albums with the hopes that one will be able to “save” hip-hop or bring it back to its roots. Last year, we saw that kind of talk about Q-Tip’s The Renaissance, Nas’s Untitled record, and several others. Were any of them really the savior? No, of course not, even though Q-Tip’s album was stellar front-to-back.
Slaughterhouse are adorable. Clearly, this was not their intent. If you've spent any time in the last two years braving the sort of internet scuttlebutt that makes it feel like talking about rap is a full-time job, you know Slaughterhouse is what the game's been missing in 2009, a hyper-masculine corrective to a hip-hop scene that had grown disgustingly soft.
The name Slaughterhouse, combined with the unfortunate “hung pig” art adorning the album, may elicit unintended comparisons to the unfortunate “horrorcore” phenomenon of the early '90s. But the opening sample of the album -- a collaboration between Joe Budden, Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, and Royce Da 5’9”-- doesn’t seem to be cribbed from a Vincent Price; it actually compares the four contributing rappers to Voltron. Other than an ill-conceived line about Ortiz being a cannibal, Slaughterhouse sidesteps the general silliness of trying to rap horror lyrics and falls into a totally different well.
Putting four underground lyricists with cult followings on a single album seems like a good idea on paper, but here the result is rehashed boom-bap drivel with a street-rap edge that falls flat more often than not. Composed of Joell Ortiz, Royce da 5'9", Crooked I and Joe Budden, the group brings out clichéd Voltron metaphors less than a minute into Sound Off, the first cut. By the second, there's talk of "lyrical lords." Track three is called Microphone.