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Who Is Slaughterhouse? - BET Article (02/19/09)
Pretty good read!  Props to I-5 on the DOC for this.

In a time where hip-hop appears to be in a similar recession that our economy is entrenched in, four emcees have banded together to form a supergroup like none other. All four emcees have had their fair share of major label love. All four have also been written off (with the exception of the young Ortiz) after their label mishaps, only to rise like the phoenix and utilize the internet to build massive cult followings.
Joe Budden, Crooked I, Joell Ortiz and Royce Da 5'9" are Slaughterhouse.

You probably know them individually, but this is about getting to know Slaughterhouse as a collective.

But if you don’t know who they are, allow to jog your memory.

Who Is Joe Budden? – You may remember Joe Budden for the hit single “Pump It Up” back in 2003. His self-titled debut album failed to live up to the hype on the charts – although it was acclaimed critically for its exceptional lyrical content – and sold 400k copies. His follow up entitled The Growth hit multiple snags and eventually led to Budden leaving Def Jam for indie label Amalgam. Since then, Budden has become an extreme presence on the internet with the release of his Mood Muzik mixtapes. Budden has seen his popularity taken to new heights while being branded as a true lyricist.

Who Is Royce Da 5’9”? – Royce Da 5’9” may be known best for his early association with Eminem but his lyrical presence has made him a staple of the underground. He signed his first deal in 1998 with Tommy Boy Records to release Rock City – which ended up getting re-released on Koch records in 2002 after heavy bootlegging. Royce has been known as the one artist that was just as good – if not better – than Eminem. The duo would be known as Bad Meets Evil and released several tracks together – “Renegades” would be the most popular as Royce was removed from the song in favor of Jay-Z. Royce also penned several songs for Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001 (“The Message” and “The Way I Be Pimpin” which later became “Xxplosive”) but had a falling out with D12’s Proof which led to a publicized beef and put distance between Royce and Eminem. The issues would be resolved before Proof’s tragic shooting. Royce has since made a name for himself on the internet with his Bar Exam mixtapes, collaborations with DJ Premier (“Boom” & “Shake This” notably) and indie releases.

Who Is Joell Ortiz? – Ortiz is one of the newer faces in Hip Hop. After being featured in both The Source (Unsigned Hype) and XXL (Chairman’s Choice), Ortiz would field offers from both Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def imprint as well as Dr. Dre’s Aftermath. Ortiz would sign with the latter and would release a critically acclaimed album on Koch records titled The Brick in 2007. Ortiz’ Aftermath debut however would be put on the backburner to make room for Eminem, 50 Cent and Dr. Dre’s projects. Ortiz decided that Aftermath wasn’t for him and was granted a release from his contract.

Who Is Crooked I? – Crooked I is best known for his stint on the then falling apart Death Row Records. He was supposed to lead the charge for Suge’s second dynasty but due to Suge’s legal issues and some industry politics, neither of his two recorded projects saw the light of day. He finally left Death Row in 2004 and started his own label Dynasty Entertainment. Today, Crooked I is best known for his "Hip Hop Weekly" series that thrust him back into the limelight as he released a freestyle a week for an entire year. What was once thought of as an artist that would be lost to industry nonsense caught a second wind and a rebirth in Hip Hop.

The Common Bond - All four artists could be called your favorite rappers, favorite rapper as all four excel lyrically. They can also be known as the artists that should have blown up but for some reason – changing Hip-Hop climate, label mishandlings, etc – have not. Their presence on the internet proves that they each have cult followings and the joining of forces puts lyricism back to the forefront of Hip Hop.

How They Linked Up - Joe Budden was working on a song for his Halfway House album and enlisted the services of Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5’9” and another artist named Nino Bless for a song called “The Leak.” The song was well received and because of the great chemistry the four had on the song they decided to form a super group (Nino Bless has moved on to other projects since).

But leave it up to the four headed monster to explain how they joined forces and their answer is a little less complex than what many may assume.

“It’s an unsolved mystery,” Budden said to about the four coming together. “By the grace of God we got together.”

“God is a Hip-Hop fan,” Ortiz echoed.

Why Should You Care - If you care about talent being brought back to the forefront of Hip-Hop, then you should care about Slaughterhouse. There are no gimmicks, no song with an accompanying dance, none of that. It’s all about lyrical content. If that’s what you value as a fan, that’s what these four emcees give you.

“Our primary purpose is to bring back lyrics,” says Joe Budden.

“I just like to be around n*ggas that know how to rap,” Crooked explains when asked what brought the Cali emcee to the group. “I just like to be inspired by n*ggas that know how to spit.”

“Let’s keep it real, artists on the west aren’t known for a lot of lyrics,” Crooked continues. “We have a bunch of dope (rappers) in the west but they all in the underground. That’s an opportunity for me to rep for my coast…I had to accept the invitation.”

Will They Really Drop An Album? - That appears to be the plan. According to the four headed lyrical monster, the only thing left to decide is what label will Slaughterhouse call home.

“They’re coming,” Budden interjects regarding if Slaughterhouse would go to a major label if asked. “They are already coming (but) it f*cking depends. Options are always nice. I’ve had my fair share of problems with the labels and I have my own views but I will never be just totally blinded to anything.  I’ll always leave that as an option.”

“As of right now that is not our concern,” Ortiz chimes in. “We don’t really care right now. We’re just trying to make great records.”

We’ve all heard about so-called supergroups in the past that fall apart for any number of reasons (internal beef, money, etc). With that being said, the question is “How long will this unified front last?”

“I think it can go as far as our egos let it go,” Royce says. “They haven’t become a part of it yet. Everything has been going so fast that we haven’t had a chance to really meet and really get on the same page. Everybody is going to have their own opinions.”

“We should be like brothers…always!” he continues. “Because the rest of the world is going to respect that. This is not a ploy to get fans. We all have our own cult followings.”

But the one thing that brings this group together is their love for the artistry. It appears that – for now – there is nothing that can separate these four.

“This is not for money. Please believe it,” Budden explains. “This is strictly for love and music and passion. We live for this. We eat, sleep and sh*t for this.

Can Slaughterhouse make you a believer?

Reposted from DubCC, great read.

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