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Album Review

Slaughterhouse, 'Slaughterhouse'

August 10, 2009

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Hip-Hop
Slaughterhouse Slaughterhouse
E1 Music
ESSENTIAL “Microphone’’

For the first few seconds, it sounds like hip-hop artist Royce da 5’9’’ is easing you into his group’s much-hyped self-titled debut, but really he’s just giving you a chance to catch your breath before they suffocate you with rhymes. Slaughterhouse’s new album is relentlessly lyrical, which is the point. Equally talented and underrated, Royce, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I, and Joe Budden came together and instantly created a situation where the sum was greater than the individual parts. Their competition’s part of the chemistry. Rhymes have a two-syllable minimum. They flirt with machine-gun cadence for sport. Not counting the ones on “Microphone,’’ “Cuckoo,’’ and “Killaz,’’ the beats feel like wallpaper - they’re there, gritty and hard, but you don’t really pay attention to them because you’re picking apart the verses. It’s an hourlong posse record that sometimes makes you think you died and woke up in 1998. The group caters to the type of listener who probably downloaded the album a week ago, but will still spend $10 when it’s officially in stores. (Out tomorrow)

JULIAN BENBOW