Which Member Of Slaughterhouse Went In Hardest On On The House?
There are two ways to tell if an upcoming album is going to be a letdown:
• When the artist starts talking about his next project before the new project even comes out. See: Common hyping up his No I.D.-helmed The Dreamer/The Believer even before Universal Mind Control was released. And what happened? UMC was easily one of the five worst things to happen to human ears. (That is not an exaggeration.) • When the artist puts out a free project immediately before or after the album drops. See Lil Wayne putting out the mildly disappointing Sorry 4 The Wait right before the vastly disappointing Tha Carter IV.
That's why we should all temper our excitement about Slaughterhouse's upcoming major-label debut Welcome To Our House, which has been preceded by a mixtape full of non-stop bars called On The House. Chances are it'll end up being far more entertaining than the actual album; Whereas Welcome will have a few grasps for radio play and some standard major-label tropes, On The House is mostly just an endless rap orgy. Which makes it perfect for a Slaughterhouse challenge! Here's how it works: We'll give each individual rapper's performance on each song that features at least 75% of the group one to four points; the best verse gets four, the worst one. At the end, we'll average out the scores and see who Slaughterhouse'd it hardest.
1. "Back Tha F*ck Up" (Royce Da 5'9", Joell Ortiz, Crooked I) Note that Joe Budden doesn't really show up much on this mixtape, althoug he's not missed here. Royce reprises his usual role as leadoff batter, and he demolishes the track. Oddly, Crooked I puts in an off-beat effort and stumbles out of the gate. 4 points: Royce 3 points: Joell Ortiz 2 points: Crooked I
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2. "Weight Scale" (Royce Da 5'9", Joell Ortiz, Crooked I, Joe Budden) Everyone brings it, although Joe Budden gets an immediate disqualification and point deduction for his Aurora, Colorado punchline. Crooked I recovers nicely by nudging slightly above his counterparts. He sounds rejuvenated and vicious, tearing the beat to shreds. 4 points: Crooked I 3 points: Joell Ortiz 2 points: Royce Da 5'9" -1 point: Joe Budden
3. "All On Me" (Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I) Budden can't outrap any of the other Slaughterhouse guys bar for bar, but emotional, personal raps are his wheelhouse. Here he talks about a lost friendship in a way that conjures his best Mood Muzik days. Joell and Crooked are neck in neck. Crooked is a little bit better, though. There aren't any real losers here, though. 4 points: Joe Budden 3 points: Crooked I 2 points: Joell Ortiz
4. "See Dead People" (Royce Da 5'9", Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden) Eight minutes? Really, guys? That said, everyone throws in quotables and schizo tales. Royce just comes off like a star, sounding deranged, polished and charismatic as hell. Joell and Crooked I are again pretty much tied, with Crooked ekeing out the win for an insane rhyme scheme at the beginning of his verse. 4 points: Royce Da 5'9" 3 points: Crooked I 2 points: Joell Ortiz 1 point: Joe Budden
5. "Juggernauts" (Royce Da 5'9", Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden) It's amazing how at different times over the course of the mixtape each member sounds like the best rapper in the world. Here, over a Chicago Bulls introductions sample and Eminem-sampled verse, Crooked I sounds like the best rapper in the galaxy. On the intro of Slaughterhouse's last album, Joell Ortiz took the crown as the best double-timed MC. Here, Crooked and Budden shine. 4 points: Crooked I 3 points: Joe Budden 2 points: Joell Ortiz 1 point: Royce Da 5'9"
6. "Come Home" (Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Crooked I, Royce Da 5'9") As if we needed a reminder, the foursome talk about their time solo and why, as a team, they're better than damn near any other crew in the game. When it comes to basic sh*t talking with an added dose of swag, Joell has to take the cake. It's also nice for them to switch up the song order for a change, too. 4 points: Joell Ortiz 3 points: Royce Da 5'9" 2 points: Joe Budden 1 point: Crooked I
7. "Gone" (Crooked I, Royce Da 5'9", Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden) The obvious loser here is K-Young, whose hook is damn near unbearable. The emotional raps here should be all Budden, but Royce has had the most tumultuous and high-profile career out of the crew, so his verse about industry trials is the most compelling. 4 points: Royce Da 5'9" 3 points: Joell Ortiz 2 points: Joe Budden 1 point: Crooked I
8. "Who I Am" (Crooked I, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz) A likely scrap from the cutting-room floor, "Who I Am" is easily the worst song on the mixtape, with a weak hook and a sappy Mary J. Blige sample. Still, Ortiz wills himself to a great verse; now we see why his name "rings in the boroughs and everybody will tell you the same thing that I'm thorough." Crooked I also sounds at home on this west coast track, which Budden sleepwalks through. 4 points: Joell Ortiz 3 points: Crooked I 2 points: Joe Budden
9. "Truth Or Truth, Pt. 1" (Crooked I, Royce Da 5'9", Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden) And we close out with a 14-minute track. Yes, it's exhausting and yes it's melodramatic, with Cee-Lo crooning in the background (the beat is Rick Ross' "Tears Of Joy"). But if you can make it through the whole song, you'll find an emotional, piercing look into the psyche of each MC. Again, this is where Joe Budden shines, reminding us how good he is when all the tweets and drama are stripped away. 4 points: Joe Budden 3 points: Crooked I 2 points: Joell Ortiz 1 point: Royce Da 5'9"
Average scores: Royce Da 5'9": 2.71 Crooked I: 2.67 Joell Ortiz: 2.78 Joe Budden: 2.15
The tope three guys were really close, with Budden decidedly bringing up the rear. While Ortiz didn't have as many best verses as the rest of the crew, he was consistent throughout. So take your final stroll down the runway, Joell; congratulations on Slaughterhousing the hardest of all.
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