In the hip-hop world, the trend is that if Eminem vouches for you, you’re up next. See 50 Cent or the success D-12 had in the early 2000s. And now newcomer Yelawolf, who already has a massive independent following, is starting to blow up. At the same time, hip-hop group Slaughterhouse have dropped a new eponymous EP to serve as a preview of what’s to come now that the group is flying the Shady Records banner.
The group is made up of some names that you may have heard, but aren’t major label “famous” yet: Joe Budden, who had a huge hit in 2003 with his self-titled album and its single “Pump It Up,” and Royce da 5’9”, best known for his work with Eminem in the ’90s. The group also consists of underground artists Crooked I and Joell Ortiz. After their 2009 self-titled album gained them a solid underground following, the group has delivered a product that will bring them to new ears.
The EP starts with a bold proclamation of “Back on the scene/Crispy and clean” on the track “Back on the Scene.” The scene Slaughterhouse is undeniably bringing back is lyrical skill in hip-hop.
Later, on “Everybody Down,” Joe Budden backs this claim: “I ain’t no rapper I’m a mercenary/ Every verse I bury, some will blame it on the perks I carry/ Been in disguise when I failed or I lost/ But they won’t know I’m a god until I’m nailed on the cross.”
During his verse in “Back on the Scene,” Royce drops this gem: “You sound dry, your legs look a little hashy/ You thought what you said was classy/ But Slaughterhouse been about bread since Freddie Blassie.” That’s a combination that leaves the average Lil’ Wayne fan confused and doing some serious Googling.
While tracks such as “Back on the Scene,” “Sun Doobie” and “Fight Club (Remix)” act as fun jams filled with fancy word play and boasts, the EP’s strongest song is “Move On.”
Slaughterhouse are no strangers to controversy, and this eight-minute epic addresses it all. On this track, our MCs are found at their most raw and real, dropping all of the lines we knew they were capable of all along. Ortiz provides a personal favorite: “But the hurt is makin’ me better with this gift/ I’m live with this ink/ You could die in a blink/ And ya’ll got the nerve to ask me why do I drink?”
I wanted to find something that I didn’t like about this EP, but the only thing I could find is that it’s too short, with only six songs. Yet, the short running-time lets me look at it as only a sample of what’s next. The final product looks promising.
This is real hip-hop for real hip-hop fans, done by true artists. At a time where being taught how to “Dougie” is what stands as mainstream hip-hop, it’s nice thinking that the gentlemen in Slaughterhouse are at least trying to bring us back to the golden age of hip-hop.