For as long as I can remember, the hip-hop genre seems to produce two groundbreaking records every year. It could just be a mental thing at this point, mindlessly allowing myself to only indulge in two – never more, never less. Take the past two years for example: In 2010, Eminem re-focused and delivered an astounding performance with Recovery. Not to be outdone, B.O.B. burst onto the scene with the “just as impressive” The Adventures of Bobby Ray. Then in 2011, Bad Meets Evil (Eminem and Royce da 5’9″) and Yelawolf pumped out top 10 finishers (Hell: The Sequel and Radioactive). Outside of the respected two each year, nothing overly extraordinary crossed my path. Again, perhaps this is just a matter of personal opinion, set on repeat?
This brings us to 2012. For those religious followers of my reviews, you probably caught my analysis of Josh Baze who debuted with an “Album of the Year” contender back in April. Shockingly enough, a few months pass us by and here we have yet another AOTY contender with the hip-hop supergroup, Slaughterhouse. Those unfamiliar with the group need only dip into anything “Shady-related” over the past 24 months.
OK, maybe I should just go ahead and tell you about this awesomeness.
Slaughterhouse is made up of Royce da 5’9″, Joe Budden, Crooked I and Joell Ortiz. Many of you probably remember Royce’s 2011 release, Success Is Certain, which was surprisingly underwhelming considering his dominant performance on the Bad Meets Evil record that released only months earlier (especially since he kept perfect pace with Eminem from start to finish – tough task). Nevertheless, my excitement was still intact for this new record. If I haven’t already given it away – it does not disappoint.
The supergroup has their fair share of support/help from start to finish. To name a few: Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Cee Lo Green, Swizz Beatz and Skylar Grey all make at least one appearance on the record. While the cameos are not necessary to the overall strength of the record, they do add an obvious appeal.
Let’s focus our attention on Royce da 5’9″, mostly because the hype was outrageous with all the 2pac comparisons after Hell: The Sequel released. His performance across the 16 tracks on Welcome To: Our House – heavenly. Personally, this is an immense breath of fresh air. After the solo release a year ago and the monumental disappointment I felt, it feels wonderful to have this redemption. From the get-go, he crushes every aspect of every song. While the rest of the supergroup definitely fill their spots well, Royce is definitively the focal point of the record.
Reading through a few opinions of Welcome To: Our House, the lyrical abilities, without question, do not go unnoticed. Every which way you turn, the lyricism and rhyming abilities of the four are praised like some religious figure (religious theme, take three). The one commonality is the criticism of the “mainstream” style beats which apparently do nothing but fill the void. I completely disagree. Listening to each track by itself, like most Shady/Dre-produced albums, not one song is similar in structure/beat. Each track is remarkably unique, creative and completely original. “Get Up,” “Flip a Bird,” “My Life” and “Park It Sideways” perfectly back up this argument.
Between the outstanding skillset that each of the group’s members (don’t forget those featured) possess, packaged with the brilliant beat structure – which is a constant staple, as previously mentioned – this album kills.
The question on everyone’s mind (well, maybe just mine) is: Will another trailblazing hip-hop album grace us with its presence before 2013? History would suggest, no.
For Those Who Like: Bad Meets Evil‘s Hell: The Sequel – Slaughterhouse‘s Slaughterhouse – D12‘s D12 World