Masta Ace
Slaughtahouse


5.0
classic

Review

by I II II L USER (37 Reviews)
July 17th, 2015 | 16 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Welcome to the Slaughtahouse

As The Golden Age of hip-hop faded in relevance and gave way for the rise of West Coast gangsta rap, many veterans were worried. With its hedonistic themes and glorifications of gang-violence, the music coming from the West Coast glorified the destructive lifestyle that many veterans were vocally against. One of those concerned was an individual by the name of Duval Clear, otherwise known as Master Ace, was a bright and colorful character in his Marley Marl produced debut, Take a Look Around. Ace was now in a tight spot, as more violent lyrics were taking up the spotlight while his peers were fading into the dust. Master Ace decided to change his image, shortening ‘Master’ to ‘Masta’, exchanging his fancy suit and hat for a hoodie and ball-cap , and with his newly formed posse ‘Masta Ace Incorporated’(which is really just Ace, ironically) released the 1993 album Slaughtahouse. But, Ace is not trend-hopping here; instead, he points out the absurdity of fads, the dangers of living in a gangster's paradise, and the true, perilous nature of California's seemingly-inviting shores.

Slaughtahouse’s tone is consistently dark and menacing. While there are other descriptors that fit from song to song including paranoid, hostile, witty, and playful, there is always a sense of danger present.

The production, like the G-Funk of the West Coast, is heavy in funk and R&B samples. But while in the West Coast it was brighter and richer, the production here is much murkier and deeper, providing an image of the cold-cramped back alleys of New York as opposed to the sunny beaches of LA. This production aesthetic remains consistent throughout, helping connect the introspective words of Ace as he ponders about the everyday danger of simply walking from one point to another..

“I walk through the valley of no-man's land
Sayin’ peace, slappin’ fives and holdin’ up those two fingers
To the many nine millimeter automatic pistol toting young men
That roam everywhere
I wonder what will be the next small incident”


To the cartoonish portrayal of gangsta rap displayed in the first half of the title track by characters ‘MC Negro and the Ignant MC’..

Chainsaw in my holster
Barb-wire rope, and I'll hang ya like a poster
So when I grab my axe you better drop
Cause Imma swing, swing, swing and chop, chop, chop


The transitions are always smooth. Each song feels like it’s part of a greater picture.

The true highlight to this album, however, is Ace’s storytelling. He always is able to paint vivid pictures of people in the criminal underworld, whether it’s homicidal maniacs, drug dealers, or ordinary people just trying to get across their own neighborhoods without getting shot. The best example of this is “Jack B Nimble”, where Ace tells a darkly humorous tale of a man who is currently running from the cops. Ace here plays Jack’s inner thoughts, and his mocking voice emphasizes the hopelessness of Jack’s situation.

“Don't be mosin’, they're closin’ in kid
See what having that darker skin did
Now which way Jack, cause you need a breather
And a good lawyer, you won't get either”


In the end, Jack is hiding in the bathroom as cops start to burst the door open, Ace only then says that maybe it wasn’t a smart idea to report on the cops who were okay with the drugs Jack was selling, and cuts the song with an ironically cheerful “good luck Jack”.

While it may have been the violent themes of trendy hip-hop that inspired the music, the much bigger target on Ace’s list is the pointless black-on-black violence that constantly happens. In songs like “A Walk Thru The Valley”, “Late Model Sedan” and “The Big East”, Ace bemoans that not even black people like himself are safe in predominantly black neighborhoods.

“As I walk through Brooklyn, Compton or wherever,
I wonder why black folks don’t want to stick together
Talk about justice, and how little we get
Yet black men be killin’ black men for talking ***.”


Slaughtahouse was a turning point for Masta Ace. It introduced his modern name, socially conscious lyricism, and a style of storytelling that would become a defining feature of his rapping style. Slaughtahouse, in one hand, is a satire of the West Coast hip-hop movement; but, in the other, it’s a detailed characterization of poor black neighborhoods. Ace takes on obvious targets like corrupt police, but also gives detailed imagery of the shady characters in the unforgiving world of gangs, gangstas, drugs, and cold-blooded murderers.



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user ratings (53)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
related reviews

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Comments:Add a Comment 
bloc
July 16th 2015


45250 Comments


Haven't heard this album in a while

Digging: Flotsam and Jetsam - Doomsday for the Deceiver

hikingmetalpunk
July 16th 2015


2159 Comments


MC Negro and the Ignant MC steal the show.

SharkTooth
July 16th 2015


13794 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

agreed

PappyMason
July 17th 2015


5702 Comments


Nice. I haven't heard this one.

Phlegm
July 17th 2015


7241 Comments


neither, love the cover art

Ryus
July 17th 2015


15701 Comments


excellent album nice review

Digging: DJ Richard - Path of Ruin

SharkTooth
July 17th 2015


13794 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

thanks Ryus

funny part is everywhere else on the web this is the cover art

http://www.undergroundhiphop.com/store/covers_original/DV14230LP.jpg

bloc
July 17th 2015


45250 Comments


Yeah I've noticed that too. I own the double disc version of this album and it has the same album cover as your link.

LambsBread
July 17th 2015


6524 Comments


damn his style is a lot different than on a lot hong summer

SharkTooth
July 17th 2015


13794 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah that's because this is much less about Ace and much more about the world around him, he doesnt get personal/narrative focused until Disposable Arts

LambsBread
July 18th 2015


6524 Comments


do you like this one better?

SharkTooth
July 18th 2015


13794 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Prefer Disposable Arts as that was my first Ace album, but for me ALHS, Arts, and this are all about equal

doctorjimmy
June 14th 2016


386 Comments


Checking a few songs from this on youtube, sounds interesting, prob gonna check it out one of these days

Pos'd

evilford
April 18th 2017


40662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos'd, excited to check this guy's stuff out

frigyourgenre
May 2nd 2017


3689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is growing on me

frigyourgenre
May 2nd 2017


3689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

grimey ass production on here



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