Release Date: Aug 28, 2012
Record label: Shady
Genre(s): Hardcore Rap
Slaughterhouse – Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Royce da 5'9" and Crooked I – are less a supergroup than a collection of oddballs. Eminem turns up on two tracks and produces two more. But the group's second LP is a showcase for gritty traditionalism: On "Hammer Dance," the hammer in question is on a pistol, and the dance is strictly metaphorical. Listen to "Hammer Dance": .
Being signed to Shady Records is a gift and a curse. In becoming affiliated with possibly the most popular emcee in the history of Hip Hop, Slaughterhouse has increased its visibility tenfold. But, as artists like Obie Trice, Stat Quo, Bobby Creekwater, and even D12 to a lesser extent know, things aren’t always rosy at the house that Shady built. Seemingly closing itself off from outside artists, meddling from Jimmy Iovine, and heavy-handed involvement from Slim himself, it’s a story fans have seen play out many times (if the artist’s album even dropped, that is).
Slaughterhouse :: Welcome To: Our HouseShady Records/InterscopeAuthor: Steve 'Flash' JuonA recent e-mail sent to my RapReviews inbox asked a short but straight to the point question: "Y NO RVW OF THE NW SLAUGHTER?" There are several reasons I hesitated to do it. One was the possibility I'm unfairly biased toward the album given their titular debut is one of my favorite albums of the last five years, one that I still listen to on a regular basis long after most people had put it on the shelf. Another was the fact I was underwhelmed by the free mixtape they put out a week before the new album, which led me to believe I might find the new CD disappointing.
Opening with a horror movie intro, where chainsaws roar and heads fly, Slaughterhouse's major-label debut instantly feels like an Eminem album. Of course, it's on his label Shady, he is the executive producer, and one track later, he's on the cut "Our House" with his "Love the Way You Lie" co-star Skylar Grey providing the hook, and while it’s a formula that works for his group D12, Slaughterhouse is comprised of respected veterans, as in Joe Budden, Joel Ortiz, Crooked I, and Royce da 5'9". This determined crew righteously tore things up on their self-titled debut, an album which fed on a "world won't listen"-style anger, which here has evolved into a credible strut, with successful folks like Busta Rhymes acting as their equal on the electro-pumping highlight "Coffin.
Shady/Interscope's resident beat-butchers, Slaughterhouse are back to carve-up the competition on their second full-length, Welcome To: Our House, and the results are definitely fulfilling. Joe, Joell, Crooked I and Royce trade quality rhymes over a varied catalogue of original productions that allow the four-piece ample room to spit their different brands of venom. With support from label boss and compatriot Eminem behind the boards (he receives additional credit on most tracks) and on the mic on a number of tracks, such as the creep show paranoia of "Asylum," there's also a strong Canadian contingent behind the beats, with Toronto notables T-Minus ("Throw That," "Frat House") and Boi-1da ("Goodbye," "Our Way") lacing the boys with some crispiness.
Slaughterhouse is in a position that most—including the four members themselves—probably never thought they’d be: on the cusp of mainstream success. Such potential seemed unlikely three years ago; not for a lack of skill from Crooked I, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Royce Da 5’9”, but, rather, for their uncompromising dedication to extreme verbal pursuits—bars so intricate and loaded that their records seemed diametrically opposed to radio accessibility. Their 2009 self-titled debut (eOne) met minimal commercial success, but their mic aptitude earned them a deal with Shady Records two years later.