The Slaughterhouse Effect
Slaughterhouse, hip-hop’s fearsome foursome, dropped their self-titled CD Slaughterhouse recently amidst burgeoning turmoil with several members of the vaunted Wu-tang Clan. This on-again, off-again problem has sustained momentum through one of hip-hop’s strongest concert series – Rock the Bells. During the tour’s stop in D.C., OKP’s Mel Blunt had a chance to rap with Joe Budden, Royce da 5’9”, Crooked I, and Joell Ortiz about their impending group and solo releases, and what the Slaughterhouse ensemble represents.
OKP: I just want to get a little history on the group Slaughterhouse. How did you guys come together?
Joell Ortiz: It was me, me, me for real (laughter).
Joe Budden: Ask Royce he’s the “setter offer.”
Joe: How did we get together?
OKP: Don’t worry about it, just be yourself we can edit things out.
Budden: We aint’ worried about no fucking edit.
Royce: It started with a song we did (“Slaughterhouse”) and it turned into a movement. The song “Slaughterhouse was off of Joe Budden’s Halfway House mixtape. Joe, he reached out to everybody, he picked the emcees, I don’t think he knew what he was starting, but he started an epidemic…
Joe: I knew what I was doing.
Royce: …now everybody’s infected!
Joell Ortiz: Yeah he picked three niggas (nuh’s) that be busting their asses on the beats.
OKP: Well look here, what are the goals or the mission of this collective?
Joe: Goals, mission? Listen, every day above ground is a good one; we’re taking it as it comes.
Crooked I: Pause
Joe: We don’t have a plan, we just want to continue to do what we’re doing, have fun and make great music and spread this movement out amongst the fans and hope they continue to enjoy it. We’re not out setting benchmarks for ourselves or trying to sell X amount of records. We’re just four great emcees and when we fucking form we’re Voltron and trouble for other emcees.
OKP: Give me a rundown of upcoming releases, projects and events from the collective.
Royce: August 11, Slaughterhouse, the self titled CD.
Joell: Slaugest 11, that’s when it drops.
Crooked I: We’ve got Big Face Weapons Race dropping on August 18 and Street Hop dropping on September 22.
OKP: Obviously, the Rock the Bells Tour is a great opportunity for exposure. How did y’all get on?
Budden: I don’t even know.
Crooked I: You know how we got down with the tour? We did our jobs and they were like holla. It wasn’t planned or strategized, it was more like we did what we had to do and somebody reached out and it was over. So shout out to Guerilla Union; Chiang, Jaz, Dana, and the whole staff. We love being on Rock the Bells y’all know what it is.
Budden: When we got invited to do this we had to catch up as far as our music, because the opportunities were coming at us faster than we were making new music.
OKP: give me a little background on the collaboration with M.O.P. and Preemo. How did that materialize?
Budden: Royce. I met those dudes through Royce, I didn’t know anybody.
OKP: Are there any other collabos like that on the project?
Budden: Stop trying to rush our interview man.
OKP: I’m trying to catch y’all before you break out on me, I’m trying to get this in. Somebody will be calling y’all.
Budden: Naw, this is Okayplayer, we’re here for y’all.
OKP: O.K., O.K. (no Juiceman) that’s what’s up.
Budden: Nobody can take us away from okayplayer.
OKP: That’s what I want to hear.
Royce: We got Pharoahe Monch, Novel, my man Novel, Fat Man Scoop.
Joell: You’ve got to understand, there are four emcees here, and it’s hard to share the mic with anybody. I’ve got to fight for my own little verse.
But real talk though, the producer credits are beautiful, we’ve got Alchemist, Steetrunner, DJ Khalil, Knottz, Focus; man it just makes me happy to rundown the list of dudes who contributed to this project.
OKP: Now this is for Joe: what brought on that whole Method Man offensive?
Crooked I: You know what, let me answer that Joe, because the whole thing about it is this, I’m his mouthpiece right now. The whole thing about that is you know, yeah (group laughter).
Budden: Anytime you have all of these; YouTube, twitter, and so many outlets for communication, sometimes it’s a great thing for artists, sometimes it hinders artists. It takes away from the “let me pick up the phone,” or the face-to-face, or the man-to-man aspect. And sometimes that’s hurtful. I think lines got crossed, in between technology. That’s what it’s all about.
OKP: Well I know you heard Dec’s cut, he fired back. What are your thoughts on Dec’s cut.
OKP: No thoughts?
Budden: None at all. I mean the grits out of that, is that the fans get to enjoy it. I don’t take any of it personally.
OKP: Seems that hip-hop battling is part of an emcees DNA.
Budden: The problem is when fans, like when you have two dudes going at it—like me and Royce at one time was going to have a back-and-forth—and fans get so caught up in it, they start picking emcees.
Crooked I: Like Oooh, I fucks with Royce; fuck Joe Budden or I fuck with Joe Budden; fuck Royce.
Budden: It’s not about that, it’s about good music at the end of the day. That man went in the booth and did what he felt he had to do, and if the fans enjoy it, it’s good for the fans.
OKP: Can any of you speak to why Slaughterhouse should not be slept on as a collective?
Budden: Nah, I’ll tell them to go ahead and sleep, go ahead and sleep. It’ll be a bad wakeup, a bad wakeup. Go ahead and sleep.
Joell: Basically, if you sleep on Slaughterhouse you’re going to have a nightmare.
OKP: Now, in closing, is there anything that you’d like to state on the record collectively or individually to the fans?
Budden: 8/11 – Slaughterhouse CD, 8/18 – Big Face Weapons Race, Streethop 9/22, then Joe Budden and fucking Joell Ortiz coming some time after that.
Crooked I: Let me tell you this, I’m tired of these rappers taking shit to the streets so quick when a nuh says “I can rap better than you.” Don’t fucking take it to the streets cause’ in reality y’all nuhs don’t want it on the streets for real. In reality, come on now, if we’re making money, we’re trying to feed our families, we’ve got responsibilities. If you nuhs ever been in beef in your life, you don’t want to take it there. I mean so nuhs need to stop that shit. When a nuh says he can rap better than you, don’t come up talking about “I’ll kill your momma” and all of that. That’s disrespect homey. Just keep that shit on the mic. Because if you want it on the streets, if your career expands to California nuh it’s a problem.
– Mel Blunt
Watch the video for Slaughterhouse’s “The One” below: