02 June 2014

REVIEW (+ STREAM): Slaughterhouse - House Rules

The Slaughterhouse movement is going on it's fifth year and the super group seems to be headed in the right direction with their upcoming LP, Glass House. This will be their second studio album under the Shady umbrella. And they will follow the same formula as they did with their debut LP, Welcome to: Our House, by dropping a mixtape before the album release. The groups previous mixtape, On The House, was met with positive feedback and set the bar high as it was most peoples introduction to the collective. Now the Slaughters have left us with another pre-album mixtape, House Rules, to hold us down before their next LP.

The intro track (and title track), House Rules, is a solid showing from the emcee quartet. Produced by 8 Bars, this track is definitely a trunk bumper. The instrumental goes through a few transitions, with arraignments varying from simple low keys to heavy bass segments. With the crews third Shady tape under their belt, we are starting to see a more cohesive consolidated effort from each emcee. Not all tracks in the mixtape feature all four members, but this track not only features the complete team dropping a verse but has them contributing to the chorus as well. Joell starts the intro giving us an inside look at what the crew does in the studio while they are laying down bars. "Royce giving his beard a scratch again/ Crooked lit a Cuban/ Joe acting like he Tweeting but he do that once the track begin/ I'm just nibbling on this plastic pen." Crooked I takes the baton and delivers his usual accelerated rhyme pattern that asserts his ambition to make his mark in the game. "Success is the mission before the mortician/ Fill me with embalming fluid, I promise that I gotta do it/ I took some street money, that I added some commas to it." Royce starts off aggressive but then breaks up his verse with a more melodic tempo, almost like a mini chorus. "I'm bogarting, the so called un-bogartable/ Turning your artist to post modern, flow particles." Joe rounds up the last leg of the track tackling an amazing array of topics. "I'm in all black like I just got a funeral call/ Stand up guy that was rumored to fall."

The Rat Pack has found a way to effectively balance the mixtape by choosing when and where to divide the emcee duties from each artist. House Rules features singles that range from all four members on the track, to solo tracks and every combination in between. This also mirrors the range of topics, from: alcoholism, success, drug abuse, friendship/betrayal, death, cancer, greed and even rap battles. Each emcee brings their unique rap style and perspective to the mixtape, but the difference with this showing is that they seem more like a cohesive group and not just a grouping of great emcees. They are starting to feed off of each other and are transitioning smoother with each baton they hand off to each other. They constantly refer to each other as "brothers", and the genuine admiration and respect is displayed throughout the tape. Production fluctuates from amazing to meh. Lyrically this is the tightest consistent showing from all members. Glass House is said to be a more introspective album, and House Rules is a great appetizer before the next main course.

Stream album below!

1 comment: