The completion of the build up process – the debut major label album by Slaughterhouse. Welcome To Our House is the album that would finally expose many people to the group on a broader scale – the mainstream scale. The underground hip hop group was known for their freestyles & mixtapes (and one album that they released 3 years ago when they were still underground), but the group released their first DJ Drama hosted mixtape, On The House a week prior to this album coming out, and to be quite honest, when you listen to the mixtape & the album, it’s 2 different projects (obviously) but I didn’t think they would be so polarizing.
Royce Da 5’9 stated in an interview with Power 105, “the mixtape is shit that we do, the album is the shit people didn’t think we could do.” That statement is pretty much self-explanatory and if you don’t think so, then I’ll break it down: artists that are underground and are really one-dimensional are often challenged to see if they could go out there and actually make songs that are “radio playable”. Any rapper can write a verse and have a hook, but albums are more orchestrated, planned out, and executed on a different scale. That also includes the sound to really move away from the grittiness that we become accustomed to hearing time after time and thinking that it’s going to be the ONLY sound that they’re going to deliver to the people when it comes to time to release to a broader audience. It sucks that it has to be like that, but hip hop has changed, and you have to go outside what you know to really test the waters and also, the most important thing – to sell.
This album was an example of that statement. Switch up what you know in order to sell. It’s normal, and we’ve seen it happen, and we’ve had to deal with it. WTOH is an album that I feel that wanted to just prove something to themselves that the group could go outside of their zone to sell some records. I say that because the sound of this album was simply…annoying. I’ll put it that way. When you start playing the album, you get the chainsaw and the screams and the build up to what’s going to be a great album to start, but then…instead of the more aggressive sounding beats and the adrenaline pumping flow, it’s mainly mild-mannered and techno inspired beats underneath rap sonnets about coming up from their humble beginnings.
I’m not knocking the lyrical content, because they can all spit and they have that lyrical strength to carry them. my problem with this album was that it sounded terrible. Most of the instrumentals sounded like alternative versions of Eminem’s ‘I Need a Doctor’ & Lupe Fiasco’s ‘Words I Never Said’. That particular sound is not what i had expected for Slaughterhouse, and their lyrics were unfortunately underscored by the sound of it. There were songs that I was listening to but just sounded annoying to me because of the fact that the sound was bothering me so much.
The main singles ‘My Life’, ‘Hammer Dance’, ‘Throw It Away’, and ‘Throw That’ I could all do without. Those were the songs that I heard prior to listening to the album and it really didn’t give me much motivation to try to listen to the album itself. Their stories in their lyrics are about their struggles, their trials and tribulations and what they wish to achieve with rap success. Joe Budden fans know him through Mood Muzik, Royce with The Bar Exam, and Joel & Crooked through their own respective fan bases. All combined, they share a common link, but with the music on the album sounding the way it did, that’s the main knock that I have against it. The actual songs themselves I weren’t feeling, except for my favourites: Our House, Coffin, Flip a Bird, and Get Up.
Lyrically, some songs are better than others. Obviously you must have your singles in there for radio play, strip club play and whatever, but overall, the album had promise and I don’t feel like it delivered, simply because it sounded like overpowering techno inspired music. For them, I just feel that it didn’t fit. For people like Lupe Fiasco & Eminem who do experiment with these type of sounds and make it work for them, that’s who I expect it from, but I just didn’t feel like it made much sense to me, which is why I don’t like it as much as the next person does. But, for a major label debut, they can flourish with this one, but it won’t be getting my dollars. That’s just me & my opinion, but for now & always
That’s My Word & It STiXX