Slaughterhouse – Welcome To: Our House

Slaughterhouse – Welcome To: Our House
Shady Records: 2012

How’s this for an idea: take four technically gifted rappers with more flops under their belts than successes, and put them in a group together. Give them an album, the entirety of which they will spend soullessly trying to out-rap each other, listenability be damned. When that inevitably flops, give them a major label deal and throw buckets of cash at the next project. The Slaughterhouse gambit is irrational, but it seems to have paid off: Welcome To: Our House arrived to glowing reviews and over 50,000 copies sold. Slaughterhouse owes much of this sudden prosperity to label boss Eminem, whose ear for pop hooks has kept him doing great business even as his dense, lyrically dextrous approach seems to have fallen out of vogue. But Slaughterhouse doesn’t do hits. Never has.

So Eminem took the reins, corralling a gaggle of A-List assists for the album, co-producing thirteen of its sixteen tracks and rapping on two of them. Eminem’s attempts to affix pop sensibilities to his Shady Records 2.0 rap fraternity have played out like a hip-hop Icarus project, though. Recovery, Em’s own blackhearted dash for renewed relevance, was peppered with big, stinking, obvious hits (“Love the Way You Lie”, “No Love”), and Radioactive, his protege Yelawolf’s major label debut, was torpedoed by a midsection full of tasteless, failed crossover attempts. Slaughterhouse fares worse as the group’s famous lyrical interplay is routinely drowned in urban radio sheen, and whatever ragged glory its members have accumulated as rap folk heroes is trampled underfoot.

Welcome To: Our House is heavy on moments of poor taste, especially on its sketchy run of singles, ill-conceived from “My Life” and its Cee-Lo assisted interpolation of Corona’s cheesy ‘90s dance classic to “Hammer Dance,” which finds AraabMuzik sampling Korn’s weak “Freak on a Leash” retread to stripper anthem “Throw That”, which is built around the rapey come-on “I’ll throw this dick on you, girl.” Mr. Porter provides an elementary ESG flip and Swizz Beatz delivers an expected repetitive chorus on “Throw It Away”. Skylar Grey delivers two servings of frumpy emo platitudes that make Joe Budden’s mopey solo output look like party music. Em’s attempts to disguise Slaughterhouse’s blatant unmarketability keep the album on a pendulous slide between frat house lyricism and aggressively radio friendly pap.

Even though Welcome To: Our House’s collaborators bring very little in the way of chemistry and intrigue, and the pop elements here feel soldered on, Slaughterhouse barely manages to keep up their own end of the bargain. Lyrically, Welcome To: Our House is embarrassingly reliant on petty sex jokes and juvenilia. Clunkers like “I took the rock and a hard place and made the best orgy,” “Dropping more niggas than who dropping out of school,” “I was losing my mind like I was trying to lose it,” and “On blue boys and shrooms, now the club is Smurf Village” are commonplace. Slaughterhouse bricking on the only element they needed to deliver is a shame, but it’s not a disappointment. This project never worked before, and no amount of bells and whistles can conceal a lack of proper songwriting capabilities and chemistry.

The album’s awfulness gets a slight rejoinder in the form of On The House, a mixtape under DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz series. Loosed from a need to move units, the group gets to stick to the one thing they are unilaterally great at: dispensing dazzling internal rhymes at breakneck speed. It gets grating in large doses, especially on the 15-minute closer “Truth or Truth, Part 1”, but listening to talented rhymers playing with words beats listening to them trying to get on the radio. Although, faced with the prospect of rooting through the two-and-a-half hour trash heap of music Slaughterhouse just released in search of quality songs, the better choice is ultimately to walk away.

★★☆☆☆
 2 out of 5

10 thoughts on “Slaughterhouse – Welcome To: Our House

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  1. Please keep eminem away from your music. Along as he thinks skylar grey tracks are good the bloke has no clue anymore. Slaughterhouse need to work with tradional producers like premo, large prof, rza, havoc, Pete rock etc

  2. hahaha craig ” id rather listen to 2 chainz” good shit man way to stand youre ground

  3. I agree with the review. Shit was beyond terrible.I had high expectations for this album since Slaughterhouse was in “control”. Album reminded me of a B.O.B album mixed in with Eminem Recovery. I am good. I will take a pass on that. On to the next one

  4. I’d rather listen to 2 Chainz.

  5. Still better than 90% of the mainstream garbage being put out today.

  6. So they had creative control, but Eminem mysteriously has his hand in like *every* track? Suss. (As many times as I was in the album credits, you’d think it would dawn on me that Swizz didn’t do that beat. Ugh.)

  7. If you pop over to the Dedication 4 review, you’ll note that I didn’t write it and obviously cannot be blamed for whatever the score on that is.

    As far as knowing what I’m talking about, I’ve been a fan of Joe Budden since the first album, Royce since the 90s and Joell Ortiz since the Bodega Chronicles days. So the problem here isn’t a lack of familiarity with the artists here or the material, it’s me thinking the album sucks.

  8. Little rumblings on twitter and around the net says SH has creative control over the direction of the album. Not sure they can blame the label for anything.

    Not that it matters, but Mr. Porter produced “Throw It Away.”

    I do wish Skylar Grey would go away.

  9. right. This one is a 2 and dedication4 is a 3? right, you really know what you are talking about. GTFO

  10. King Hayabusa|

    this review is dead on. Glad somebody can call out Eminem for thinking he is gonna usher in something that these goons couldn’t do on their own. Why not combine The Outsidaz and D12 into a “super”group and get David Guetta to do the beats….you’ll get the same results. This entire SH movement feels forced and the weak album proves an experiment gone wrong.

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