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The Hip Hop super-group Slaughterhouse made their official debut when they released their self-entitled debut in 2009. Act consists of amongst the some of the biggest underground MCs from all around the US as you get Joe Budden (from Jersey City, New Jersey, Crooked I (from Long Beach, California), Joell Ortiz (from Brooklyn, New York and Royce Da 5'9" (from Detroit, Michigan) all bringing their talent together to make for a dominating force that can use their diversity to their advantage in coming up with a sound that goes out to all the hotspots in the underground Hip Hop world.
1. "Sound Off"
The album starts in a very exciting way as you find that they come through strong with a powerful recording that indicates that something highly significant is going to occur. It is a rough tune and one that that begins things in a very relevant way as they take over the game with this album and so by coming through with such a killer opening track you can't help but think that they are going to do big things together.
2. "Lyrical Murderers"
As they move things on, you see that first Royce Da 5'9" comes through and blames Rakim for the lyrical beats that we see here, not only in him as an individual, but as the four-piece as a unit as they come through and straight rip it with their complex rhymes following years of work as solo acts building up their skills (all doing so around the late nineties) to this point where they can rap with such confidence and quality.
As The Alchemist comes through and brings in some empowering beats, you see that here you get a track that seems to carry through the themes of the last one and has them all coming together to perform a track where they express how they are simply too much when they get a chance to rock the mic(rophone) and give examples of how they can take out people with their words. It is raw and keeps hopes high for later (especially Crooked I's verse, which is strange since he is usually looked at as the least impressive of them all).
4. "Not Tonight"
You get another heavy joint here as they come through on top of some fly Breakbeats and so it livens up the listeners and so gets you going and ready to feel even more of the potential in them. Here you have references to some of the biggest acts which 'Pac, Biggie and Michael Jackson all getting a mention within it as they do a track that I felt had some commercial appeal (especially when you take the style of the hook into account).
5. "The One"
Up to this point in this album I didn't think that there was as weak a track, but I felt that I could only look down on it because it had been so good in all the first ones and this one wasn't really that bad at all, it just doesn't hit you as quickly as others on the thing. Here they take on the 'Rock Star' role and work with The New Royales on a DJ Khalil joint as they compare themselves to Rock acts and how they compete with them.
6. "In The Mind Of Madness" (Lude)
After a very relevant interlude which enters the mind of Joe Budden (with references to the events that have occurred with Method Man, but doesn't go to as recent as the Raekwon situation that has come about as the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan and Redman got involved) you get a track which has them going off without hooks about why exactly they do what they do and why no one should mess with them as a result of their apparent madness.
8. "The Phone Call" (Lude)
9. "Onslaught 2"
Here you get a raw tune where Rocye Da 5'9" kicks things off and comes through again about his likeness to both The Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac and how it exactly it has led to such a successful and skilful lyricist as you get here and it is seen to continue from there as the rest get into it. Fatman Scoop (a rather odd choice) acts as the hype man here and keeps the thing rolling nicely as they go hard again.
10. "The Phone Call 2" (Lude)
With help from Pharaohe Monch (by singing on the chorus) and production from D12's Mr. Porter (Kon Artis) you get a tune where they rhyme about why they deserve the sorts of respect that others in the game receive and they do well to explain this to the listeners. Budden gets the first verse and ensures that you get a good idea of how they aren't messing around as Mr. Porter provides a dingy composition.
Here ReaLsoN brings the beats as the for of them come together and perform a prayer rap. You find that they explore the bad times that they have felt in their years and how low things can get for them. Their great lyrical talent allows them to pain to a picture to the listener (especially with Joell Ortiz' flows) and give you the chance to experience it all too as they really bring you down as they look for an escape.
13. "Cut You Loose"
They get back to the very high standard of material here as they get down to one where they make an impact by performing a track where it begins with a variety of references to current events in the Hip Hop world and why Hip Hop is being brought down as so many artists (usually the young ones0 will try to get up through the names of established artists by starting a beef of some sort or comparing themselves to them.
14. "Rain Drops"
As Atlanta's Novel joins them, you get a Filthy Rockwell joint and one that has take things back towards the more depressive side of the music as you see that they perform one where they rap about how they are often brought down and the types of things that tend to trigger this. I felt that it preventing it from really standing out on the album (with such themes) but they still hold things together nicely.
The album ends with a typically exiting tune as they record a track where they, once again, go into depth about the sorts of things they are likely to do when they get violent and just take things over the top when they are pushed. It is a strong ending track on the thing and it seems to round it off very well to represent the contents of the main body of the album well as they do their thing well to the end.
This is a strong album for the group and a great debut as hey power through with an album which shows just how well they are able to work together (after linking up late in 2008). I felt that the first half was much more exciting and promised more than the whole thing could actually deliver and so it was decent, but not quite to the expected level as it seemed to lose its flow towards the end, but still didn't lose its great quality.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Sound Off
2 Lyrical Murderers
4 Not Tonight
6 In the Mind of Madness
8 Phone Call
9 Onslaught 2
10 Phone Call 2
12 Pray (It's a Shame)
13 Cut You Loose
14 Rain Drops