Album Review: Slaughterhouse, Slaughterhouse

slaughterhouse-718945 I (as well as everyone else) knew well before this album came out that this album was going to be a benchmark for lyrical linguistics. Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Crooked I & Royce Da 5’9″ are all known for their raw radical and introspective lyrics, and when you put them together the results are going to be monumental. On this album Slaughterhouse sets out to prove that although you may have thought Hip-Hop was close to dead, they plan on showing you it isn’t. I can almost assure you that there probably won’t be another album to come out this year that has anywhere near the lyrical display of this album.

The album starts off perfectly with the track “Sound Off” where StreetRunner sets the stage with a slow beat that picks up pace for all of the guys to switch up their flow like a sink. I’ve never heard all of these guys rapidly rifle off rhymes like they do in “Sound Off” but they are all great no matter what pace they are rhyming at. Alchemist’s cut on the album, “Microphone”, is full of high pitched piano keys and sinister synthesizer notes which provide a murderous masterpiece for the machine to sound off on. Royce spits, “I’m the blueprint/I have your clothes lookin’ like they was designed by bullet holes and shoe prints./When I bless a joint/it’s like Spock came up in the spot and grabbed the beat by the pressure point”, Joell Ortiz also sounds off, “Too many critics tend to be silly/too many frogs go “ribbit” but never leave lilly/I get it poppin’ like a neen millie/now I’m havin’ a whale of a good time, I’m a Free Willy”.

The track “Not Tonight” is one of my favorite joints on the album. It features an uptempo soulful beat full of triumphant horns by StreetRunner, and the it sounds very similar to “Now I Lay” from Joey’s album Padded Room. DJ Khalil provides a guitar infused rock beat for the machine to demolish on the track “The One”, and although it has a little more commercial feel to it the track still kicks ass. Emile provides a nice canvas full of beautiful strings and heavenly horns for Slaughterhouse to butcher on the track “Onslaught 2”, and it makes for one of the sure highlights of the album. I love the track “Cut You Loose” which features a signature soulful beat from Mr. Porter, and has all four emcees reflecting on their relationships with Hip-Hop over the years.

The sure highlight (to me) on this album is the track “Lyrical Murderers”. Focus lays down one of the most harrowing and  horrifying beats I’ve heard in my life, it truly sound like the soundtrack for a murder scene in a movie. Every emcee in the group lines up their bars and leaves the track verbally shanked with no remorse. Crooked I sounds off first, “Niggas better pray to the lyrical lord, that I fall off like the umbilical chord/before I fill up the morgue/this is how a killer record, with the double-edge triple-syllable sword/I’m iller than 0r-dinary, see I’m a literary genius/bury niggas with words, a cemetery linguist/most rappers are comedy gold/they like they boyfriends sodomy hole, they full of shit”. Joe Budden spits one of my favorite rhymes on the album, “Hello Hip-Hop I am here, you’re dyin’ yeah/and I’m aware/a beast so atcha wake I cry lion’s tears/that’s no disrespect to the pioneers..”.

This album is just about everything I expected it to be, but there are a few setbacks. The track “Cuckoo” just doesn’t seem to fit the rest of the cohesiveness on the album, and the track “Salute” is a slight disappointment considering Pharoahe Monch was only brought along to sing a hook. Pharoahe is one of the greatest emcees of his time, and I think if he would have spit some bars “Salute”, it could have easily been one of the tracks of the year. Like the guys at HipHopDX said, not having Pharoahe lay down rhymes is like featuring Dre and not having him produce.

All things set aside, this album is still very good. I can assure you that it will sit comfortably on my top 10 albums of the year list. The raw lyrical display shown on this album is seldom seen, not to mention the chemistry between these four could be the basis for a college class. Do yourself a favor and pick up one of the best releases of 2009.

9 Ridiculous Rhymes out of 10


One Response to “Album Review: Slaughterhouse, Slaughterhouse

  1. Nice review, I agree. My Fav cut is Tear Drops for the moment…it switches

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