Posts Tagged ‘royce da 5’9″


saved by a slaughterhouse?

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Saved By A Slaughterhouse? (As Seen in Rhyme & Reason Aug. 2009)

In this present era of hip hop commercialism, “swag“-geration and all-around dis-association with the pioneering charactertistics that ignited the genre, various rap icons have attempted to channel a time when rappers spit on their lyrical ability rather than their material chattels; their respect for the game rather than their infatuation with currency; and their hierarchy and genuine love for the rap game. Even for hip hop’s most gifted this is no easy task because materialism is a mu**afu**a. Still many try (with good intentions) to revive hip hop with temporary lyrical painkillers.


Now finally, there’s a quartet with the cure: Joe Budden, Royce da 5’9,’’ Joell Ortiz and Crooked I. Independently, they are all blunt, clever, poetic scholars with a love for combat; whether lyrical or situational. Slaughterhouse has already resuscitated hip hop with several mixtapes. Now, the cure, the self-titled album Slaughterhouse is here, released on Aug. 11. Projected to sell about 25 K,  this is the dose of real hip hop the world is depending on.

Royce, how does it feel to be referred to as superheroes of this rap era and to be called “The Fantastic Four?”

It’s a good feeling. Everything’s been going good. I think they call us a supergroup…because we can all hold our own lyrically and individually. I think we’re getting a lot more attention paid to us now( than we were before)…just because we formed everything together.


Joell, some hip heads and critics say that there are too many egoes in Slaughterhouse for the group to work and be successful in the long term. What do you say to these listeners?

None of us are ego-tripping. We get in there and we do songs together and get a buzz going and we completed a dope album; all four of us. I think we form one dope a** M.C. That’s how I be looking at it…We’re all pieces that make up the super group. Royce refers to us as Voltron. These four ill lions…that make one beast. And that’s what the album is. All four of us coming together and forming one beast.


Royce: This sh** is working because of the timing. We doing it at a time when we’ve already went through the egotistical bullshit. Whenever we disagree, we shed all our problems in one meeting. We’ve never been in a situation where there was an issue and we couldn’t squash it. As long as we stay on that page…, we’ll be together.



Joe, when the four of your first started brainstorming for the self-entitled album, was the Alchemist a first choice as far as producers?

Naw, I don’t think it was any set producer that we wanted to have on the album….Just whoever we felt were the dopest.


For each of you, what tracks produced the most chemistry between the four of you and as a result are now your favorites songs on the album?

Royce: I can’t name a favorite track; that’s like asking which one of my kids I like the best. But, one song is  The One. We went in [the studio] and we decided to drop a whole lot of rock star names. We added the KRS-One element to keep the hip hop element in it and we saw the way the beat was swinging (that Khalil gave us) and we just went in and laid the verses and kept it moving from there and made that the single.


Joell: The record Pray just sounds dope. The concept is dope. Joe couldn’t have put any more feeling out there and the guys just ripped the verses. It’s a therapeudic record, so I listen to it a lot just to be reassured that everything’s gonna be alright. And even though sh** is rough, sh** gets better.


Royce, why do think the four of you compliment each other so well?

You know what? I still haven’t figured that out yet… On the mic and off the mic. Even, when we’re doing stuff live…and all together. It’s just the personalities. I don’t think anybody in the group can be replaced with anybody. There’s other people out their that can go lyrically, but I’m not so sure that their personalities would fit. I think the right personalities got together.  It’s not just four dope lyricists.


Joell: Yeah, exactly. Both Royce and I are Cancers…, so we gone make sure sh** its alright. (laughs)


Royce: That’s gone really make it cool. (laughs)


Joell: Oh, and then you got Joey and Crooked. (Both laugh)


Crooked has made it clear that the music Slaughterhouse makes outweights the money. Do you all feel the same way?

Royce: Now calm down, it’s not that important. (Joell laughs)

Joell: This is the way we feed our family now. But, we’ re not willing to compromise our artists integrity because of money. But, wake up and pray and go to bed and pray and thank the Lord that the thing that we love doing the most is providing for our families. We just don’t let the thought of being extra hungry compromise our art. That’s all.


Royce: Plus, you got a lot of artists out here that just be like, “I’m not in this for the money. I’m in this for the love and forget the money.” And the way they act and carry themselves, it sounds like they going away from the money. We not going away from the money. This is what we do to feed our kids. But, we not thinking about “ How much am I gone get paid from this issue?” while we in the studio session. We go in there and we’re concerned with the music. We wanna make sure that the music comes out right. ‘Cuz no matter what they gone pay us, the music is gonna be out there and we gonna be there together. So we just wanna make sure everything is everything. But, after the music is done and it’s time to go promote,  we going out there to get the money.


Joell: That’s right.


Joell, what do you say to listeners that may be fans of yours, but not of some of the other members of Slaughterhouse?

I don’t think that’s possible. Anyone that’s a fan of me is a fan because of my ability to rhyme really well, to be real, to be personal, to mix it up and do my very best on a beat and touch people… Not one of my group members are gonna not do any of those things… There’s no way you can be a fan of Joell Ortiz and not a fan of Royce da 5’9’’ or Joe Budden or Crooked I…You’re dealing with the same animal. I know that a couple of Crooked I fans that didn’t know me,  hadn’t had a chance to listen to me. If they fu**ing with Crooked, mod than likely, they fu**ing with me.


Royce: We like the challenge…of winning over each other’s fans. We’re going on Tech N9ne’s tour in October. And Tech N9ne has like a 90 percent sell-out rate,. Whether we’re on the tour or not, it’s gonna sell out so we getting put in front of people that might not get a chance to see us …we getting hit with the opportunity to be able to win over new fans and we like that challenge. We do the same things as a unit and as individuals. I love the challenge of winning over people that love Joell Ortiz, but weren’t necessarily into me for whatever reason.


Although Slaughterhouse is at the top of their game lyrically, what rappers do you guys pay homage to and give your utmost respect to?

Joell: We’re fans of the hip hop community. It’s so many artists I could name right now, but I don’t wanna miss anybody or forget anyone. Whoever was doing their thing…in the 1990’s,…at some point, I was listening to them and was a fan of and am still a fan of today. So there’s not one particular dude… It was just a mixture of the hip hop community that made me fall in love with this.


Royce: I could start naming lyricists, but there’s nothing they can do that I haven’t already scooped up from them. So as a lyricist, I don’t really look up to them anymore. I looked up to the moguls now. I look at the way that some of these guys conduct their businesses and the decisions they’ve made and the way they’ve allowed their companies to grow. I find myself looking up to that now.


The two of you (Royce and Joell) seem pretty close. Did the two of you know each other before collabing on Joe’s album?

Joell: As a person, Royce is my homie. He’s a really good friend of mine now and the same things that apply to ni***s I grew up with, apply to him now. Musically, Royce… is a genius and a teacher. He’s definitely teaching me. I learn a lot from being around him; as a man first, and as a musician second.

Joe is a great friend of mine also. The same things apply for him and Crooked as well. They’re all my ni**as.


Royce: Yea, it’s the same here. I love all my ni**as in my group. Joell is one of the most important factors in the group because outside of his rhyming, he brings a personality to the group. Like, if I’m sitting in the room with him and he’s cracking jokes and making everybody laugh, and then I say something kind of funny, [everybody’s] like, “Damn, I didn’t know Royce was that funny.” Because I come off as serious. I’m a serious dude, but when I get around him (Joell) and Joey, all the personalities come pouring out and it allows me to be my natural self… As far as the guys as M.C.’s, there’s nothing I can really say. It’s self-explanatory. I’m just proud of…the guys I got to meet outside of the microphone. I had a perception of them before I met them, because I didn’t know them before we did the group. But these guys…I think the whole world is gonna fall in with them just because of the whole package that we got.


Following you guys throughout your careers, it seems to me that all of you are pretty serious-acting guys. Who’s the craziest?

Joell: We all got our ways, man. (laughs)


Royce: I think Joey’s the most predictable to be unpredictable… and outspoken. You pretty much know when Joey’s about to attack somebody. He’s the most visably crazy one. But, everybody’s got an edge to them in the group. Everybody’s got their ways and that kill switch. I seen it.


Since Crooked I couldn’t make it today, tell fans (that may not be familiar with the west coast lyricist,) about his style and what he brings to the group.

Royce: He’s the epitomy of a L.A. ni**a.,, He’s thorough from a to z. He don’t have no ways about him. He’s a real ni**a. He’s been around for a long time. He’s humble. He’s just like the rest of us.



“The Fantastic Four” Slaughterhouse also has individual projects dropping in soon. Right along with the group’s album, Joe Budden’s Escape Route released on Aug. 11 also. Royce da 5’9” has an album coming out Oct. 20, while Joell Ortiz’s and Crooked I’s album release dates are to be announced. The Slaughterhouse album will be E1 Music’s (formely Koch) second consecutive #1 album next week. 


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