Slaughterhouse – Hip Hop’s Chopping Block


Slaughterhouse 1

Slaughterhouse are making their way to Australia in February and they bringing a whole new level of Hip Hop our way! The US powerhouse group consisting of Hip Hop cipher masters Royce da 5’9”, Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden and Crooked I are not just another hip hop group, but a union of the industry’s illest rappers breaking new ground and kicking in the door when it comes to delivering true Hip Hop, no hype.

The group started their journey back in late 2008 when Joell, Royce and Crooked I appeared on a track on Joe Budden’s album Halfway House. The track was called ‘Slaughterhouse’ and the rest as they say is history. But it is in that journey that lies the very essence of why this group is historic in what they bring to the game. As individual artists all repping for their veritable cities and states spanning from Detroit to New Jersey, New York to California, Slaughterhouse bring a sense of pride back to the art of rhyming and deliver a mixture of grimy hip hop, slick production and take-em-as-you-see-em camaraderie that hip hop has been missing.

They have collaborated with everyone from Eminem, M.O.P, Black Hippy and Fatman Scoop and have heralded production from the hottest beat makers in the game…Focus, The Alchemist, DJ Khalil and Mr Porter to name a few.

I won’t lie, when I was first told I was going to talk to all four members of one of the hottest groups in hip hop in a mere 15-minute phone interview let’s just say a lot of deep breaths and “please god let them not all talk at once” ensued, what I received was an amazing chance to converse with three of the coolest, funniest and honest artists in the game today, ( Joe Budden was unable to make the interview) who not only offered up some great laughs, ( yes Joell Ortiz is quite the jokester) but true insight into what happens when you get four very different, strong and opinionated rappers in one group, with their own unique flow and style to create a cipher you don’t ever want to end. They are truly excited about heading to Australia soon and are looking forward to showing us how real hip hop is delivered – hook, line and sinker!

Such an honour speaking to you all – Australia is really excited to see you perform in a few weeks! Will this be your first time to our shores as the group and what are you all expecting from our crowds in return?

(Joell) Thank you so much – yo we can’t wait to come to your shores ….I like how that sounded, all sophisticated, shores, that’s what’s up (laughs)

Ms Hennessey – Are you making fun of me Joell? (jokes)

(Joell) Not at all Ms Hennessey, just nice to hear good words used that’s all (laughs)

(Royce da 5’9) Excuse us Ms Hennessey, it’s been a long morning of interviews so we acting up – let’s get it together guys. Thanks so much for your time and we are really looking forward to coming to Sydney as a group. This is our first time together but my second and I’ve been telling the guys how amazing Australia is and the people are mad cool so they all looking forward to coming down and playing for ya’ll!

(Joell) It will be my first time but I’ve heard great things about your country man, so we are just going to give you all the best hip hop show we can. Lots of energy, lots of fun, we be sweating our asses off and also some serious shit to just so ya’ll know who we are (laughs) but yeah just a good show we hope everybody enjoys. Ya’ll are gonna love it!

Slaughterhouse album

For those that are not too familiar with Slaughterhouse here in Australia, your journey as a collective started back in 2008 when Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, Royce and Joe Budden decided to form after appearing on a track called Slaughterhouse you all did on Joe Buddens album halfway house. The rest as they say is history but can you fill in the blanks on what the journey has been like for you all since you decided to form the group?

(Crooked I) It’s been a very good journey you know, for me it’s been a very educational process and personally learning new techniques and recording and watching the other guys and how they perform and operate has been great, just learning from them in general. I’m just like sponging it all up and just adding it to my arsenal as a rapper you know. Whilst it’s been an educational journey it has also been fun too you know what I mean, like who would have thought that 4 dudes from 4 different cities would get along and carry this movement across the world and inspire different artists and fans with our music and that is just incredible in itself you know. It’s been so dope that I went out and got tatted twice with Slaughterhouse ink on me and I’ve always vowed to never get a tattoo that doesn’t mean something to me. I feel like each tattoo should tell a story so it’s kinda like the group’s so nice I had to get tatted twice (laughs).

Single – Cut You Loose

Royce if I can ask you this question……you have always had strong opinions on your own journey in hip hop and have remained to this day one of the most honest artists when it comes to calling people out for anything less than real. What do you honestly think about the hip hop generation and industry today and what do you perceive Slaughterhouse role to be?

(Royce) I think that hip hop is in a very good space actually, you know I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of hip hop in its entirety where you haven’t been able to point the finger at some bullshit and I think that’s one of the things that keeps hip hop going. Slaughterhouse wouldn’t be viewed as good by certain people if it wasn’t for bullshit to stand next to, but I think there are a lot of good aspects in hip hop right now and there is a lot of good stuff out there right now to listen to as an optimistic listener. I pride my group as the catalysts of creative integrity and through our actions we showing that its cool to not only be smart but it’s cool to be  team player and its cool to not only be about yourself. I think it speaks in abundance you know to show strength in numbers and I believe the younger cats that are doing it now it’s cool and I’m really proud of that.

2011 BET Hip Hop Awards – Slaughterhouse, Eminem, Yeowolf Cypher

Collectively, the 4 men in this group pack a mighty punch, with your own individual careers holding their own weight. With your varied personal successes in hip hop how easy or challenging was to bring all your different personalities together to make Slaughter the success it is today?

(Royce)  I would love to answer that question. My personality actually mutated around these guys you know and when I first started being around them I felt myself start to steal some of their vocal techniques and the way they moved etc. ( laughs) so I kinda became a chameleon in the group to the point where almost to the point now that when I am in the studio just doing my own thing I kinda miss them and miss doing music with them you know what I’m saying. It’s like doing a song without them feels kinda empty you know, like I’m always tempted to send it out to one of them and be like ‘yo just do a verse on here real quick’ (laughs).

(Crooked I) On a serious tip though as veterans in this game we have been through every peak and valley you know and we have that unified respect for all of our journey’s, so once you get us all in that studio or room together we got that same respect for each other and the grind and hustle we have all gone through, that is the key ingredient to the very success of our group and what makes us work so well together – RESPECT.

The one thing you know now that you wish you knew back then about maintaining yourself in this Hip Hop game?

Slaughterhouse 2

(Joell) Good question … know I have no regrets about how I first came about in the game to where I am now musically but to think back I was real young and fresh off the block and that’s what I talked / rapped about and I’ve always been real to myself and what going on in Joelle’s life in my music. So from being on labels from Koch to Aftermath with Dr Dre to being with Slaughterhouse on Shady Records I have always been Joelle Ortiz and always remain true to that. So musically no I wouldn’t change a bit, I grew as a person and the growth shows in my music but I wouldn’t change a thing about the way I started. Mind you if there was one thing that I could have done better I probably would have saved money better you know (laughs) to be honest with you when you come from nothing and you get this lump sum it’s just like “oh shhhhh, Imma get two of these and 4 of those” you know (laughs) but you gotta do all of that too to have the experience.

(Royce)  Yeah I feel the same way Joell feels too , you know I got into this game at a real young age and I feel like I wouldn’t be the man I am today if I didn’t make mistakes before, I’m just one of those people that does it and then learns from it you feel me.  I have pretty much made every clichéd mistake that an artist can make in this industry back in the day, from spending too much money, to wearing what a stylist tells you to wear to making a stack of records other people  told me to make, I have made them all but I wouldn’t go back and change a thing because I learnt those lessons the harshest way I could but I am better man and artist because of them. I’m at a point now where I still don’t feel like I know all there is to know about this industry and I kinda like the book that God threw together for me and I’m just riding life like a roller coaster at this point!

Music Video – Goodbye

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