Slaughterhouse – Album Review

13 08 2009

slaughterhouseThis is one of the most anticipated albums of recent times, especially in the underground and internet community. 4 guys whohavn’t really made it in the mainstream, but are some of the most respected lyricists in the scene. Joining together to make the hip hop supergroup Slaughterhouse, their self titled debut album dropped on August 11th 2009, and here is what I think about it.

Flow: First, and foremost with a group album, Slaughterhouse actually sound like a group, not just 4 guys who are featuring on each others songs, they seem to have let Royce lead the album, talking on many of the songs intros, and also spitting many of the first verses on each song. On some songs such as ‘The One’ Budden and Joell even trade bars in their conjoined verse. Overall the group just seem to have a great chemistry, like guys who know their formula, and have made numerous albums together, like Bone Thugs or Wu-Tang.

Beats: There isn’t really any glossy production on this album, The production is slightly Eminem-esque, in the fact that the beats make you focus on the lyrics, and what the guys are saying, rather than this new Flo-Rida shit where bitches just listen to the beats, and don’t have a damn clue about what the fuck hes saying. And seeing as this album was always about lyrics, the beats serve their purpose. But its not like they are some budget beats on anything, they’ve got some production from Mr.Porter and some from The Alchemist as well. All the beats on this album will have your head knocking and they all fit the purpose for each song, for example the beat for ‘Pray’ isn’t as hard as the beat for songs such as ‘Sound Off’ or ‘Microphone’.

Lyrics: Wow. That’s all I can about the lyrics on this album, all 4 of these guys spit motherfucking flames. The best thing about having all 4 of them on one song for an entire album, is that they’re constantly competing against each other. They are all mean on the mic as it is, but when they’re trying to outdo the other, its just taken up another level. One of the illest things about the lyrics, and that they are so true, when addressing the state of hip hop on the song cut you loose Joell goes on to say ‘I remember the days when singles had cuts on it, nowadays your rewind buttons got mad dust on it’. How true that line is. This is one of the first albums in recent years where i would hear line after line, and just think whoa, that shit was hot, verse after verse, song after song. I’ll say it now, I haven’t heard an album this lyrically good since Common dropped ‘Be’.

Overall: This album was so well put together in such a short space of time, all 4 guys can spit for days, theres only 12 tracks which helps to keep any potential fluff off the album, they murder every single beat they spit on, and to the surprise of many actually created songs with concepts, instead of just spitting verse after verse in freestyle form on every song. The beats are on points, the lyrics are flames, the ONLY thing missing from this album is a club banger, but shit, did Illmatic have a club song?



They Win, But Do We Lose Out?

26 07 2009

Recently I’ve been hearing alot of talk about how our favourite artists ain’t as good as they used to be, or that they’ve lost a step, or that they aren’t as relevant to the game as the once were. When I take a step back to look at some of these artist, a lot of them have one thing in common. It can be summed up with Jay-Z’s well known lyric.

‘Im not businessman, Im a business MAN’.

When these artist first came into the game, all they had was their music, and their success depended solely on the quality of their music. But when these rappers start to get a little fame, in come all the endorsement and sponsorship deals. When this happens, rappers realise they can afford to take it easy with the music, and make most of their money via other means. This can be through anything, from vitamin water to making mediocre movies, the allure of the bigger money seems to be having a negative  effect on the music we listen to.

When rappers stopped becoming reliant on their music, we stopped becoming reliant on those rappers. For example, you look at some of the great MC’s the game has ever seen. Guys like Ice Cube, one of the founders of gangsta rap music, first three albums, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Death Certificate and The Predator, amazing albums, and the first two are widely heralded as classics. He got into the film industry where he made more money, and we went from Death Certificate, to War & Peace.

Jay-Z came out as a street hustler, he didn’t have many ventures going for him other than his music, he brought out Roc-A-Wear in ’99, which was cool, cause the music didn’t seem affected, and he was still putting out music at a fast pace, pretty much an album a year. But then after The Black Album, Jay wasn’t rapping anymore, so he got more and more involved with business. Jay already had alot of cake before The Black Album, so its not like he was reliant on the music anymore, but when the he got more and more into business, I feel he got distracted, which affected his music more than a lack of effort, but yes, we went from The Black Album, to Kingdom Come.

One of the most affected artists has to be 50 Cent. 50’s music used to be on some hardcore street shit, good beats, dope rhymes, and some good wit in his music. His debut LP was called Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, but its like 50 got rich, and stopped trying. I mean seriously, what the FUCK was that Curtis album? He even says himself, he doesn’t feel motivated by the music anymore, if you asks me its cause he ain’t the hungry street hustler trying to use his music to get dough. Thank fuck 50 is getting back on his mixtape game and actually showing some hunger and putting out some dope shit.

Its just starting to feel like when other ventures come along, music gets put on the back burner, maybe artists should realise that its the music that got them in those positions in the first place. Right now it seems like some of the dopest rappers, are the guys without the money, without any sort of deals, guys like Slaughterhouse, but it seems unfair that the guys putting out the best music aren’t getting rewarded with the fat check, but if we go by the examples above, do we really want them to?

The Old 50 Cent

The Old 50 Cent

Today's 50

Today's 50

Jay-Z Vs The Game

21 07 2009

jay-zthe gameOk, so by now everyone has heard bout all this shit between Jay-Z and The Game, its taken about 4 years for there to be an official diss song from one aimed at the other, but is anyone really that surprised?  In my opinion Game threw his first show at Jay back in 2004 when on Westside Story he dropped that bar ‘I dont do button up shirts or drive Maybachs’, which Game would later claim was a shot aimed at Ja Rule, but correct me if im wrong, I dont really recall Ja wearing button ups and driving Maybachs. Then, Jay would freestyle on Hot 97 for Funk Flex, numerously mentioning the word ‘game’, which he would later claim was about the hip hop game in general, not the then up and coming G-Unit/Aftermath star.

So only a few weeks ago now, Jay dropped that Blueprint 3 intro, where he goes on to say ‘I aint talkin bout gossip, I aint talkin bout Game, I aint talkin bout Jimmy i aint talkin bout Dame’. Now alot of people questioned whether this was a shot at the game or not, I personally believed that it was. So im sure The Game was over the moon when he heard this shot get thrown, as he finally had an excuse, to do what h’ed always wanted to do, and that is, go at Jay-Z.  So go at Jay he did, when last week he released that ‘Im So Wavy’ diss track. Personally, i felt this diss was WHACK, the talking at the end of the track was much better than any of the rapping. Everything Game has been using to go at Jay so far, is pretty stupid, he keeps talking about Jays age, which by the way, is 39, not 42 as Game claims, but whatever. But so what? He’s saying that Jay is too old and that he wants T-Pain to stay and ‘Old N*gga Goes’.  Well as some of you may know, Rakim is planning on releasing a new LP soon, and hes 41, is The Game gonna say hes too old to be on the mic? I dont think so. The fact is, The Game has always wanted to attack Jay-Z, but now he finally has the chance, im not sure he knows what to say or do.  Game could prove me wrong however, he did say that Im So Wavy was not a proper diss track, and was just ‘pop shots’ , so he could well go much harder than hes shown so far. But in my eyes, he should never have released that song ‘My Bitch’ and saved that for, which is the one time i really feel he got in Jay’s ass hard (No Homo).

Jay may not even respond, maybe not directly anyway, recently Jay has built up a reputation of not replying to any cats that he doesnt feel are ‘worthy’, and lets face it, when it comes to Jay-Z, The Game, is not worthy. In my opinion Jay needs to respond and put this name dropping motherfucker in his place. And if Jay does repond, Game needs to watch himself, everyone knows that The Takeover was some of the hardest shots ever fired on wax. But alot of people may ask the question whether Jay still has that edge that he had back when we was recording that song,  and that classic album, The Blueprint.

Game on the other hand, hasnt stopped dropping diss records since he came onto the scene from Joe Budden to 50 Cent to Jay-Z, this is Game’s specialty. Also, when he went at 50 and G-Unit, them guys were running Hip Hop, they were damn near the dop of their game, and Game managed to deal some deadly blows to them, as their critical acclaim, and commercial success never seemed to be the same since. Jay on the other hand, unless Blueprint 3 is straight fire, cannot be considered at the top of his game, not since hes come back from retirement. Kingdom Come is universally considered whack, and is probably Jays worst album. American Gangster on the other hand, i felt was a big step up, and he really shook off the retirement rust, but many fans still argue, he aint the same rapper that he used to be, so he too, should be weary of the threat that the Game poses to him.

If you’re asking me, If Jay responds, i’ll say he will put The Game in his place, and finally close his big mouth once and for all, but The Game has enough in his favour, to make this beef very interesting, what do you think?