NOTE: You can download the album HERE.
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welcome to: Our House is the debut studio album by rap supergroup Slaughterhouse consisting of four emcees namely Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I and Royce da 5’9. It is the first offering from them on Shady Records which was founded by none other than hip-hop superstar Eminem. This album has been anticipated for some time however, it has been frequently pushed back. Now it has a set release date for August 28th.
The standard edition of the album comes with 16 tracks and the deluxe edition has four extra tracks. The production on this project has some big hitters with Hit-Boy, Boi-1-da, T-Minus, No I.D and Eminem himself. The whole LP is mixed by Eminem as well. As for features, the album has relatively few which is understandable as four emcees on one track is hard enough and squeezing a feature on the track isn’t exactly a good idea without defeating the purpose of the song. However, Skylar Grey, Busta Rhymes, Swizz Beats, Eminem and Cee-Lo Green all make their contributions to certain tracks.
There have been five singles released from this album namely Hammer Dance, My Life featuring Cee-Lo Green, Throw It Away featuring Swizz Beats, GoodBye and the latest offering Throw that featuring Eminem. I personally enjoyed all five singles thoroughly but my pick has to be GoodBye which is an amazing, deep and meaningful track in which Slaughterhouse members make themselves vulnerable and reveal truths that many did not know about them. The album was preceded by a mix tape entitled On The House hosted by DJ Drama as part of his usual Gangsta Grillz instalments.
Track By Track Review
The album begins with an intro named The Slaughter produced by Eminem. It’s a nice skit intro into the opening track and has Crooked I talking over the sounds of chainsaws and screams saying slaughterhouse don’t allow fake emcees. It rolls nicely into the opening track named Our House featuring Eminem and Skylar Grey. This track was produced by Alex Da Kid and it makes perfect sense for Eminem to be the first person you hear on the album as he has brought Slaughterhouse leaps and bounds. The beat is unique from Alex Da Kid but still stays true to those dramatic drums we have come to know and love from him. Skylar Grey’s amazing vocals compliments this track perfectly as she sings “Welcome to Our House”. All emcees bring their A-game and deliver some fantastic flows as well as lyrics. All in all a fantastic opening track as Slaughter welcome us to their house and Eminem unleashes these “beasts” into our CD Stores.
The next track entitled Coffin featuring Busta Rhymes is produced by Hit-Boy. I wasn’t very sure about this track on first listen, it’s not the best Hit-Boy track I’ve heard but after Our House it makes sense for us to know they will kill emcees and the up tempo beat does compliment this message and conveys it well. Busta is on the chorus and he delivers a catchy head banging hook. Slaughterhouse again stay on point and deliver in fantastic fashion. The beat has this airy siren that is on loop and it sets the tone of this track brilliantly.
This rolls nicely into Throw That featuring Eminem and is produced by the ever reliable Hitmaker T-Minus. The beat for this is great and the hook is even better which Eminem delivers and it has a comical feel to it. All emcees bring their witty lines and playful wordplay to this track. This is the most recent single from the album and what I would assume to be the final single. A very good track which leads us into the first single from the album.
Hammer Dance is produced by Araabmuzik and as mentioned earlier it served as the first official single. Eminem said they decided to make this the first single which would cater for Slaughterhouse core fans. I personally enjoy this track Royce delivers a very catchy hook and the rest of Slaughterhouse deliver some witty lines and I like Crooked I’s flow on this especially.
It rolls into this sample and is followed up by hard hitting drums and Royce starts the track Get Up off. This track is produced by No I.D and it has a great beat and the synths and piano’s compliment it very well The hook has a sample on loop saying “How quick are you gonna get up” . All in all a very good song and one thing I will say is I’m glad that Slaughterhouse are now making songs and not just spitting bars, they have focused their content on a specific theme and I think it works very well. They get the job done on this song and it’s one I can’t wait to go back to listen to, No I.D.s production on this track is stellar and makes this track sound quite triumphant and motivational in some aspects.
The track plays out into My Life featuring Cee-Lo Green which is produced by Streetrunner and this served as the second official single from the album. Many Slaughterhouse fans really did not like this song due to it’s so called pop feel to it but I have to disagree again, I thoroughly enjoyed this as a single and Crooked I joining in on the hook is dope. For me Joell Ortiz verse and flow on this track is a highlight and he gives an insight how his life has changed and how he’s “so proud to be part of a conglomerate like” Slaughterhouse. A very uptempo track and has this motivational feel to it and again it fits the concept of the album very well. Royce comes in at the end saying he’s gonna take his daddy out of the post office. A great song and Cee-Lo Green does well on the hook as well.
This track goes into a skit named We Did It produced by Eminem and Joe Budden is found saying they made it and failure is not an option. It rolls into Flip A Bird produced by Black Key and from a production point of view this track is a definite head banger. Royce comes in with his rapid fire flow and witty wordplay saying if 5’9 stopped rhyming he’ll start driving 9 to 5 which again sticks to the theme of the track title. The hook is weird but it works well with the beat, it sees a woman on loop saying flip a bird. Joe, Crooked I and Joell all do their thing again delivering some memorable lines. A definite replay value track for me and their flows on this are a big highlight for me.
Throw It Away featuring Swizz Beats is the next track on the album and it is produced by Mr. Porter. It served as the third official single and it clearly is made for the Strip Clubs. Again it’s a song that sticks to the concept of the album as they are showing you their world and what happens in the everyday life of Slaughterhouse. A nice head banging beat again and surprisingly a catchy hook from Swizz Beats; It’s one of his better hooks that’s for sure. Joell Ortiz has some funny one liners on the song as does Joe Budden. A nice beat to ride to definitely and it fits the album concept nicely. It’s not my favourite song but I appreciate it and I wouldn’t mind if it came on.
It rolls into one of the best tracks on the album for me namely Rescue Me featuring the wonderful Skylar Grey and is produced by Alex Da Kid. It’s safe to say Skylar and Alex are a lethal combination of producer and singer/songwriter. This track sees Skylar singing on the hook “So can you rescue me, because my ship is sinking and I’m drowning at sea, so can you rescue me from me”. Her vocals sound hauntingly beautiful. The beat on this is stellar and I’m surprised as to why this wasn’t a single as this a fantastic track. Royce and Joell get very deep on this song especially Joell’s verse on this. Crooked unleashes his personal demons with a truthful verse saying he’s still a drug dealer whilst still trying to change his life up with Slaughterhouse. Joe Budden finishes the track off with another memorable verse and Skylar closes the track off with her beautiful vocals.
This track fades nicely into another highlight off the album for me personally. Frat House produced by T-Minus has a crazy beat and the drums are complimented nicely by the synths on loop. Slaughterhouse deliver great verses and the hook is definitely a standout hook for me. They again stick to the concept of the album and show us their Frat House which has weed, liquor and bitches lying on the floor. A definite replay value track and it has a nice electric guitar piece half way through the song.
GoodBye is the fourth official single from the album and it is produced by Boi-1-da. It is one of the best songs from the album which sees Joe, Joell and Crooked I deliver some heart felt verses revealing some shocking things about their pasts. Whether it’s Joe’s twins that were miscarriaged or Crooked I’s uncle that was diagnosed with cancer. This track is a key piece to this jigsaw and fits the album perfectly. The beat is amazing and it compliments the content of the song with a nice piano synth that is looped. The sampled hook sings “Goodbye, so long farewell, but it’s not the end of the chapter” – a fitting hook for a truly moving track.
It rolls nicely into the next track entitled Park it Sideways produced by Kane Beatz. The beat is nice for this track and has an opera sounding woman on loop in the back alongside nice synths which compliment the song well, Royce delivers a good hook and Slaughterhouse do they thing on the verses as always. A nice track on the album which definitely sees me head nodding along to it.
Die is the second to last track on the standard edition and is produced by Mr. Porter. I was thoroughly impressed by this song, it is another highlight for me off the album. The beat is stellar and I don’t say that often about Mr. Porter but he deserves credit for this one. The track starts off with Sway introducing Slaughterhouse at a show individually. It then goes into the synths and piano medleys followed by a nice hook singing “someone’s gonna die tonight”. Royce comes in with his trademark rapid fire flow and delivers some memorable lines. The rest of the verses are nice and all of them ride the beat flawlessly. A long song in terms of time clocking in at five minutes but it goes by quickly as it keeps you enthralled.
The outro track on the standard edition named Our Way is produced by Boi-1-da and I find myself saying again that this is another pick from the album. The beat is a unique one from Boi-1-da but is expected from a proven producer of his calibre. The beat is stellar and hauntingly good, with a nice weird autotuned hook singing “we did it our way”. It’s a fitting closer and it closes the concept of the album magnificently. Slaughterhouse go on record saying they made it their way and did not stick to standards. And I have to agree they went about it a good way and with Eminem backing you, there was never a point I questioned their credibility to rock the mainstream. I just hope everyone else takes to them as I have.
Now the deluxe edition sees four extra tracks namely Asylum featuring Eminem, Walk of Shame, The Other Side and Place to Be featuring B.O.B. Asylum is produced by Eminem and it sees the return of that horror core feel we have come to love from Eminem and Slaughterhouse follow suit nicely. Eminem does not actually deliver a verse on this album but the hook is definitely memorable with Eminem singing “the lunatics now run the asylum, the doctors are dead and the nurses are tied up” and it’s a great deluxe edition track. Walk of Shame is produced by Streetrunner and the sample used is a good one for sure, a nice beat and as always Slaughterhouse deliver with some witty wordplay. The verses see some auto tune come in as well which was a nice surprise and adds to the feel of the track. The Other Side is produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E League who have had some year with some memorable tracks and this can be added to that collection. I’m puzzled as to why this wasn’t on the standard edition as this is another highlight of the album. The beat is stellar as is to be predicted from J.U.S.T.I.C.E League and the sample on the hook is very nice on the ears. All in all a dope track and the verses are nice too. The final track on the deluxe edition is produced by Kane Beatz and is entitled Place to Be featuring B.O.B. This track was decent, I could have done without it though. I like the beat to some extent and B.O.B does his thing on the hook. However, this is the first negative I actually have given to the album and that’s some achievement.
welcome to: Our House is supposed to introduce the whole world to Slaughterhouse and as they let us into their house, it looks as though they will be staying here for some time. A stellar album packed with lyrics, wordplay, fantastic flows and tremendous production. Eminem was right when he said Hip Hop needs this album, I thoroughly enjoyed this album and I can put it on from track one and play it all without skipping a single track and for an album that clocks in over an hour and 15 minutes that is some feat. If i was to give a rating to this album, it would have to be an 8.5 rising to a 9 on first listen. But I’m sure as I play this again and again I could put this as a contender for album of the year alongside Nas’ Life is Good.
Album Reviewed by Jag Dhesi of HipHopDons.Net