“Bend over for the god damn cracka, no vaseline…” – Ice Cube, Death Certificate(1990), “No Vaseline”
Ultimately, I wish someone would have warned me that Eminem had become the fifth member of Slaughter House. Or better yet, I wish I would have known that the album designed with the chyron of SlaughterHouse and “Our House” was actually Eminem’s latest album featuring Royce the 5’9″, Joell Ortiz, and Crooked I. Sure, there is also Joe Budden on a few tracks here and there where he should have had more of a leading role. The introduction of the album with Eminem was inspired by the same Caucasian macabre that inspired Em’s career. The song “Our House” has one bar with Joey interspersed with Eminem. If we need to remember how “Our House” was built, Joe Budden invited the party collectively known as “Slaughter House” to share bars with him on a track on Joey’s album entitled,”Slaughter House”. Beyond that glaring oversight, I felt the lyrical content of the album was exactly what hip hop fans, wait, it is 2012…the album’s lyrical content is what those that grew up when Hip Hop was more than a few hot bars and an R & B or pop hook would appreciate…
I was introduced to Slaughter House through the “Move On” track. I was one of those listeners that tunes into music to release energy vibrations that left unhandled could become dangerous particles of a criminal record. The song’s energy and vibration resonated with me at that time. “That time” being when I was attempting a degree from Webster University in St. Louis…while also attempting to figure out how homeless people survived. Not so much for a class paper, more so because I was getting cold sleeping outside of people’s buildings and I needed some tricks of the lifestyle while I was homeless. This review is not about the SlaughterHouse album from the perspective of SlaughterHouse;it is a review of the feelings and thoughts generated and synthesized by one of SlaughterHouse’s paying fans.
I’m not happy with the Eminem influence throughout the album with misogynistic (and puerile) raps such as “Throw that” where the hook is: “I’ll throw this dick on you girl.” One of the most inspiring things about SlaughterHouse’s initial underground release was that you felt it was grown people’s hip hop. Although, Joell Ortiz has admitted bouts with women illuminated on tracks like Move On when he speaks about being a kid in the hall during parties, I felt Eminem is still that White teenager with great lyrical ability but not matured by the pain of a distressed childhood in the same manner than most men are. Joey isn’t always the most mature member of SlaughterHouse but there is an element that separates him from sophmoric antics and a Black guy wrestling with hypermasculinity.
Once again the white master of ceremonies, Emimen, sprinkles a cloying overdose of pop on top of the song “Get up”. This is followed up by an obviously White audience of fifteen year old girls inspired track with crossover specialist Cee Lo on the hook, “My Life”. As with the initial release, *cough* leak *cough*, “My Life” caused those loyal to the sound of Slaughter House, (read: Black Hip Hop listeners), felt the track was not only a removal from their underdawg image, but it was just tacky and saturated with a feel I expect more from a Justin Timberlake and T.I. track.
Hammer Dance was a banger when I first listened to it. “Our Way” is a bit more of the edgy, boom bap type of song. The infectious hook and byline to other musicians that may criticize them (“Get over your Selves”) drives the track home as Detriot’s Royce pulls to the front the four man frat sounding very musical elder here. With lines like,”Sellin’ out [is] the short cut/Integrity is the scenic route”, Crooked is easily on par with his lyrical quadruplet.”Flip A Bird” is still on of my favorites from the album. “Goodbye” was another cut that reminded me of why I felt that “SlaughterHouse” was the ressurection of Hip Hop.
“Park It Sideways” made me gag. Maybe I’m allergic to artists that can’t actually generate content reducing them Selves to the average hot radio track. The synths on the track aren’t as obvious as a basement producer tinkering with Pro-tools might have chosen, but it resonates with me somewhere between a Drake production and a Minaj hope. “Die” sounds like Eminem wanted Akon on the track but couldn’t come up with an offer the Afrikan hook master could not refuse.
I understand the western world — and predominantly the White male existentialist thinking — weighs success by the numbers generated or the effects of an implement. I can deal with that. What I am upset with is the degree to which Eminem fails to have faith in those whom he has signed. The height of Death Row comes when Suge Knight offers to rap acts a contract where he, the investor and executive producers, promises to NOT be in the videos. In this vein, I just feel like Eminem needs to be less Sam Rothstein.
Deep down, I really just want to know how Slaughter House even feels, HONESTLY, about the “Our House” effort.