Review Summary: From beginning to end, Slaughterhouse spits compound syllables, complex rhyme schemes, and clever wordplay across an intense variety of production, improving greatly from their debut album. As evident in the album, signing to Shady Records was a bitter sw
From the intro and the opening anthem “Our House” to the taunting close, “Our Way”, Slaughterhouse has, across the board, improved in comparison to their last album (and debut album, released in 2009). While their debut album sounded rushed to some, poorly delivered, and lacking in the conceptual department, Welcome to: Our House solidified Slaughterhouse’s ability to deliver a complete album. The group was able to assume a more reflective side in their music as well as improve upon their lyrical delivery.
The opening, “Our House”, shows the artists illustrating their journey in hip hop; some criticize the song for the absence of a verse from Joe Budden. Budden’s verse was ‘replaced’, if you will, by Eminem, who is considered by some to be a hip hop legend. Production wise, the song is loud with heavy snares and a small piano melody throughout it. Lyric wise, all the artists, as usual, deliver technically complicated rhyme schemes with substance; with Crooked I rapping “ So I got lyrically complex, that way I could clock checks// get my moms out the projects, with these concepts// competition can't digest// and then I stress cause the road rough, I start feeling like ***’s sour// the electricity in my will power could still power the twin towers for ten hours so send cowards the message”. The next track, “Coffin”, again demonstrates Slaughterhouse’s ability to deliver above average lyrics. Busta Rhymes offers a ferocious chorus as Joe Budden spits with his signature style across the loud and heavy beat, followed by the other group members. Eminem makes his second appearance on the album, rapping a chorus in “Throw That”. Slaughterhouse once again delivers lyrically.
Slaughterhouse attacks the alphabet in “Hammer Dance”, demonstrating their ability to spit with clever wordplay, compound syllables, complex rhyme schemes, and succinct delivery. The production of this track is crisp, clear, and uncluttered, allowing the four rappers to shine. “Get Up”, the next track, offers masterful production but in turn, this production prevents the group from really rapping at the level expected by fans. The song seems to highlight the production rather than the rappers, with the heavy instruments and drums.
The following track, “My Life” features a celebratory chorus and bridge by Ceelo Green and also includes celebratory lyrics from Slaughterhouse. The production on this track is not cluttered but is loud. Conceptually, this track delivers. The album continues with the well produced track, “Flip a Bird”, where each rapper delivers lyrically, including substance as well. Even though Slaughterhouse delivers lyrically, many believe that “Throw It Away” should be thrown out due to its production. The song also fails to deliver conceptually at some points. “Rescue Me” may be a ‘pop rap’ track but the production is not bad, but the contrary. The production and lyrics work together, providing a retrospective aesthetic. Skylar Grey gives another one of her signature (and tired) choruses, similar to the ones heard in tracks like “I Need a Doctor” (by Dr. Dre) and “Words I Never I Said” (by Lupe Fiasco). The rest of the album, excluding the outro, features quality production with dense and complicated lyricism, as expected from Slaughterhouse. In addition, there are some very personal sections (“Goodbye”). The outro, “Our Way” is a somewhat appropriate way to end the album, considering the level of skill these four emcees are rapping at.
After 80 minutes and 38 seconds, the listener gets to know the four artists, Crooked I, Joe Budden, Royce Da 5’9”, and Joell Ortiz. What this album lacks is direction, concept wise. Being signed to Shady Records, the structure of welcome to: Our House seemed to reflect the album structures of albums by D12 (Devil’s Night, D12 World). In addition, the album, stylistically, has Eminem written all over it. Slaughterhouse fans may not like this and will prefer their debut album instead. Another flaw in this album comes from the group members themselves; they need to become artists in addition to having lyrical mastery. In many ways, the album, overall, plummeted production wise because of the loud and cluttered beats which, often, overpowered the lyrics. To create the impact in hip hop that Slaughterhouse intended (emphasizing lyricism), the emcees need to take a more artistic approach to their albums. A plus from signing to Shady Records is resources; this will allow a truly remarkable hip hop supergroup to emerge in the future.