No one could ever put together a greater supergroup of MCs like this. Royce 5'9", Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, and Joe Budden are like the rap version of the Redeem/Re-Dream Men's Basketball Team from the 2008 Olympics (minus the benchwarmers). Individually, these guys are great, very popular in the streets and underground hiphop scene. But to see them come together as Slaughterhoupse and put out an album with all four of them spitting hot lines on every track is like a dream coming true for most fans. The group has released several smaller projects, i.e. mixtape appearances, to make any hiphop head gag on such a huge dose of hiphop at once. And now they present an album to their fans of the individual and the group:
An album that has all the flare, but no food. Slaughterhouse's self-title debut retail album has everything a hiphop head could ask for - lyrical skill, teamwork within the group, unforced chemistry between them, great beats. However, with no substance, no food, no story/plots with the album, it might as well be another mixtape. It is definitely a mix CD of how good they can rhyme individually and together.
The first song is the most impressive and bananas of all their songs on this album. Each artist starts rhyming slow, and breaks out into fast, Twista-like rhyming. We all know first impressions are key, and Slaughterhouse feels the same way by showing their competition how lyrically skilled they are by what they say, how they say it, and how fast.
Listening further into the album, you get the nice punchlines and other creative ways to say how much they are better than other MCs, some of which aren't that creative. The only creativity lies in their ample amount of funny punchlines and rhyme schemes. Towards the end of the album, they take a minuscule twist into some stories of living rough and being a thug. This really reminded me of hiphop back in the late 90s to early 2000s where most artists had tracks asking Lord to forgive them for being in the streets and telling the world what the projects are like. Definitely 90s with the Lord answer a thug’s prayer. However, Royce delivers a very deep story on being a crack baby as if it was true and happened to them (which I do not know). Definitely an early 2000s feel with the slow extra-hardcore songs and then the faster not so hardcore ones.
One thing I really enjoyed was that Slaughterhouse followed the same routine for almost every song. Royce, Crooked I, Joell and Joe Budden. It felt like a lyrical relay race or something. Royce starts and make the pace, Crooked I would be the pace keeper, Joell increases the lead, and Budden takes them home. It's good that they follow a certain structure because it keeps them from making the album look like a total mixtape/showcase album. This also highlighted how well they mingle as a group with the flowing patterns and styles.
Overall, I can't give Slaughterhouse the full credit they deserve because they don't provide any substance behind what they say. Only a couple tracks give me the lyrical food I, as well as other hiphop heads who listen to musicians for a voice, need to get through the day. They deliver the best punchlines, that which are cool, well thought out and make sense, that I've heard in a very long time. But that's about it.
Best Song: Rain Drops ft. Novel – the most creative song, and one of the two songs that didn’t brag about how great they can rap. The only song that has a voice for the voiceless (esp. Crooked I’s verse). The vocalist on here, as well as the drop with just the snaps and piano behind him, brings this song back to some sort of 90s Boyz II Men song.
Worst Song: Killaz ft. Melanie Rutherford – Why? The last thing the hiphop community needs is another uncreative, violent song about killing someone. Not only that it’s a very violent song, it directly follows their best song.
Star's Grade: B