Posted: Sunday – August 30, 2009
Slaughterhouse, the super group made up of Royce Da 5’9″, Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, and Joe Budden, will be releasing their self-titled debut album on August 11th. The heat coming from the leaked tracks and promotional singles alone have melted off the stubborn mugs of fans who loved Hip-Hop’s yesteryears. All those who yelled “Hip-Hop Is Dead” quieted down as track after track, Slaughterhouse gave them reason to believe. Nope, the internet hasn’t been the same since they first came together on the Slaughterhouse track from Budden’s Halfway House album in 2008, and after hearing this album, you will re-evaluate every Rap album that preceded it and inevitably compare any that dare follow.
The album starts off with Sound Off, a horn heavy track from StreetRunner, Royce gives a brief introduction of the crew, “Crooked I is the equivalent of 4 arms, Joell Ortiz is the body…Joe Budden is the pair of legs…alongside I (Royce) the apparent head…” Lyrically they all did their thing, but the track belongs to Joell, his rapid-fire flow on this track is insane! Microphone makes a run for the title of “Best Track”, The Alchemist supplied beat alone makes you hype, and although Eminem previously ripped it during a Tim Westwood freestyle session, the crew brings the heat; Joey owns it. The One is obviously the obligatory commercial track, and while rock and rap blended songs tend to fail, it succeeds. Most self proclaimed “Hip-Hop aficionados” will hate the song as they tend to want to emcees to remain true to one dimension. But, don’t let the cheap guitar riffs coupled with the beat fool you, the word play is there, and you have to respect them for experimenting with their sound. Cuckoo and Onslaught are ok, but the former’s beat is too busy and gets annoying after the first listen, and the latter showcases the skills of producer, Emile, but Onslaught Pt. 1 was better.
The battle for the best song on the album starts in the lower half, past the three unnecessary skits, and after Salute, which features Monch on the hook and surprisingly borderline boring production from Mr. Porter. Cut You Loose, a track where the crew gripes over the current state of Hip-Hop, and Rain Drops a song filled with dark, personal and emotional lyrics, tie for the crown of “Best Track”, which one has the edge over the other is dependent on the listener’s preference. They possess the hot beat, catchy hook, and focus, as each rapper manages to stay on topic.
Bottom-line, there is seriously not a bad track on this album. There is a mixture of good songs and great songs, that aren’t necessarily lined up the way you would like. Case in point being, putting Not Tonight behind Microphone, and the grouping of all of the mellow-type songs together. Budden comes off as somewhat uncompromising, rapping for 12 tracks in the same mood can make the even hottest of flows sound stale, but the lyrics are there. Crooked I is a beast, all album along. Royce is well, Royce, and Joell Ortiz outperforms all of his previous work, and surprisingly most of the other members’ work on this album. It’s classic status is debatable, but it hands down the best Rap album of the year.