Hip-hop isn’t even sure if hip-hop groups are still cool, even though in theory it sounds perfect. Hip-hop is such an egotistic genre, in the mainstream, and so focused on building stars and celebrities as brand names, it is hard to see a hip-hop group succeed in 2012. Tell that to Slaughterhouse. After earning approval from hip-hop titan Eminem, Slaughterhouse released their sophomore album ‘Welcome 2: Our House’ August 28.
Following the steps of Wu-Tang Clan, G-Unit and D12, Slaughterhouse consists of solo mc’s Joe Budden, Royce da 5’9, Joell Ortizz, and Crooked I. Royce da 5’9 is arguably the most popular of the foursome, having released a collaborative album with Eminem in 2011 called ‘Hell: The Sequel.’ He also has a string of solo albums to his credit.
Eminem did most of the production on the album, and also mixed the entire collection. He also has guest appearances on 3 notable tracks. With his approval, there is a lot of buzz on the album. Yet without the thumbs up from the famed rapper, Slaughterhouse undoubtedly would not receive the attention they are. Their debut self-titled album barely made a splash and failed to chart. The second single to this most recent album is an overall cheesy hip-hop ballad called ‘My Life,’ something akin to Eminem’s own 2011 smash hit, ‘Love the Way You Lie.” The problem in this is not that Slaughterhouse are expected to have success or not, but the song relies on over-the-top hooks over aggressive and underground rapping. Eminem made it work because he’s superceded the very medium. ‘Slaughterhouse’ may have a hard time cementing any fame or respect with a song as cheesy and saccharine as ‘My Life.’
Regardless, the album has a few hard hitting tracks that may appease less mainstream-oriented hip-hop fans. Keep in mind, Shady Records gained a lot of respect with 50 Cent’s gangster rap album ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin.’ I can’t see Slaughterhouse’s work gaining the same recognition. Their lead single is just entirely too stupid, and the Cee-Lo Green feature (most popular known now for being a judge on ‘The Voice’) isn’t helping their credibility.
But with million dollar hooks and a bloated marketing budget, who needs credibility.
‘Welcome 2: Our House’ is released on Shady Records. Reviews are currently modest at best.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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