XXL’s Slaughterhouse Feature…

The following is some (Part 1+2 of 3) (Edit: Part 3 added) of XXL’s feature with Slaughterhouse entitled “Welcome To The Terrordome”…

It’s said that the apocalypse is near when you see the four horsemen. Well if Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5’9” and Crooked I have anything to do with it, this is in fact the end for a lot of rappers. Collectively coming together to form Slaughterhouse, this Voltron-esque super group has been on the lips of many a fan wondering if the foursome will indeed produce what could be a monumental album for hip hop or just be all talk like several star-studded attempts before them. Pledging their allegiance to the project and riding the momentum of their recent sold out show at New York City’s S.O.B.’s, this four-headed monster sat down with XXLmag.com to discuss everything you want to know about your favorite rappers’ favorite group. Prepare for the Slaughter.

XXLMag.com: How did Slaughterhouse get started ?

Royce Da 5′9″: It started with a record [entitled “Slaughterhouse”]. Joey reached out to me and said I need you to lay a verse on this song. He said Crooked was gonna be on it. I didn’t even know Ortiz was going to be on the joint. After they leaked it out to the net and seen the response to it, he called me back and was like ‘Yo, we need to build on this.’ Not to try to take credit or nothing, but that’s just how shit went down. He was like, ‘Yo, we need to do another joint.’ And I was just like, shit, why don’t we just do an album? Why don’t we just do a group since they fucking with all of us. He was like, ‘Hell yea!’

Joe Budden: I know Royce took credit but I need to be taking the credit [laughs].

XXL: With everybody being all across the country, does geography ever become a problem?

Royce: Nah, it’s just about agreeing to meet at a central location where everybody can be comfortable. If Crooked said ‘I only like recording on the West Coast’ I’d be down to go out there for a couple of weeks. He could come out to my crib for a couple of weeks. Then I’d go out to New York or Jersey…it don’t matter to me. And everybody’s so flexible, nothing’s really been hard throughout the process so far.

Crooked I: I think niggas is so hungry and so starving for this hip-hop shit to return to what it once was that niggas is just gelling right now.

(Hit the jump for the rest)

XXL: Hip-hop hasn’t seen a super group like this in a long time. What type of impact are you hoping a showing like this will have on the game?

Joell Ortiz: It’s gonna be a Slaughterhouse [laughs]. We got the perfect name for it. I don’t think anybody else group wise is going to be able to doubt that we’re four of the toughest dudes when it comes to that booth. I think hip-hop as a whole will be excited, especially anyone who like rapper’s rappers.

Crooked I: I wanna raise the bar with this project. All these niggas think they got spit. All these niggas think they going in on the ink pen. I wanna show them and prove even to myself that my bar game is always what I say it is. Of course I wanna get paper, cause one foot in the industry and one foot in the streets, that’s some wack shit. But my main goal with this Slaughterhouse project is to bring that era, that real hip-hop to a new generation.

Royce: We wanna impact all across the board. We’re capable of doing everything people think we can’t do and everything they think we can do we’re capable of doing ten times better than that. I think we all wanna show collectively, that we can do more than the box that people put us in, which is underground.

Budden: My outlook is a little different. I agree, if given the opportunity we can change quite a few people’s opinions as far as perspectives go, but if you just focus on the music everything else will fall into place. Once we just focus all of our talents and energies, people will be made believers.

XXL: So Royce, with you specifically not trying to stay in that underground vein, would it be safe to say you’re trying to reach the mainstream now ?

Royce: I think if we stay consistently doing what we’re doing now, they’ll come to us. I don’t wanna go reaching for it because when you reach for it, people will catch on that that’s what you’re trying to do and they don’t respect that.

XXL: All of you guys have a heavy presence and have been able to eat on the strength of the internet. Will that continue with this project or will there be more of an effort to push it out onto the street level?

Royce: We’re gonna focus on trying to get this shit as big as possible. There’s just too many super powers. Shit, this is bigger than the net. I wanna take it as far as we can take it. We’re not gonna put up with no record with Rihanna on the hook or some shit, but we’re gonna keep it hip-hop and take it far. Same way people like Common did it who never really sacrificed their sound to make hit records.

Budden: That’s happening now. That’s not a concern of mine one bit. I don’t think about who’s big where. I mean we all have our own personal accomplishments and accolades but as a unit, we ain’t accomplished shit yet. But I think just the idea itself is already spilling over into the streets. There’s a different type of excitement and it certainly isn’t just on the internet.

Crooked I: It absolutely spills over into the streets. And I already see we gon have to flatten out a couple of sucker emcees. I can already hear the hating. But that might just add to the project though [laughs]. But it’s to be expected. Now that you can go on the internet, listen to music and leave a comment, everybody’s a critic. What I’m hoping to do is educate the West Coast fans in the street who may not be up on Joe Budden or not up on Ortiz…The internet is cool, but you can’t just live there.

XXLMag: What’s good with the label situation ? Have you decided who’s gonna release the project?

Royce Da 5′9″: We’re not really at that point yet. We wanna record a lot more of the joint and then start shopping. There’s been a lot of people calling and asking questions, but I think they all wanna see can we take it further than just one record with us all rhyming verses in a row. There’s a lot of excitement and everybody’s talking, but I think they wanna see can we make this shit materialize because so many other people have cried wolf with this type of situation. But it’s definitely gonna be on a major.

XXL: Musically, will this just be an album of everybody spitting their dopest lines bar for bar or will there be concepts behind the songs and more of a balanced offering?

Joe Budden: Oh there’s gonna be balance. Because automatically, when you put us together, a lot of people are going to think it’s just going to be a bunch of rambling and braggadocio, metaphors, similes, slick talking…fuck that. That’s where the challenge comes in for the four of us. We already know that we’re dope individually, and on paper it says we should be dope together. But the goal is to do something different, something people don’t expect. I don’t think people are expecting us to get in there and just do some crazy conceptual stories. There’s just so many things you can do.

Joell Ortiz: You can expect a rap record. Not just four dudes on a CD rhyming, definitely not. I would not have agreed to this if I thought it would be anything like that. This is definitely four collective minds coming together to try to stop the questions like ‘How do you feel about hip-hop?’ This album, in my opinion, should stop all of those questions. This album will sound like what hip-hop could be if niggas stop gearing records at clubs and gearing records at radio. This shit should be fucking astounding.

XXL: With so much talent in one group, is there an atmosphere of friendly competition in the group, like are you always trying to one-up each other on joints?

Ortiz: Of course when you’re dealing with real MCs there’s competitiveness. No matter how much we do these interviews as a group, niggas [individually] still feel like they the best. We don’t have any yes men. But it [ain’t] nothing that hinders the work, it only makes the songs better.

Royce: That’s exactly what it is. We stay at each other. The type of comments that get made [amongst each other] are like ‘Wait, hold on, don’t write too fast now. You know I’m gonna put my foot in yo ass.’ That’s Joey all day. ‘I’m tearing all three of you niggas a new asshole.’ That’s him. Then Ortiz is snapping right back at him. I’m not as competitive with those guys as they are each other, cause whoever’s gonna like me is gonna like me. But Joe’s always trying to spank everybody but at the end of the day, he ain’t spank nobody yet [laughs]. Then the beauty if it is you get all of these different styles on one beat. That’s what makes it powerful.

Budden: It may appear that way, but I don’t go the hardest [laughs]. I definitely do try to keep the competitive spirit up. When you’re dealing with MCs of this caliber, it’s very easy to fall back and rely on strictly talent and not really apply yourself. So, I like to talk shit…A lot of times it might appear like I’m being an asshole but all I’m doing is making sure everybody’s going to go in as hard as I’m gonna go. But I don’t know if I’m the asshole [laughs]. But as much shit as I talk, I’m really trying to learn from these guys.

Crooked I: I’m a perfectionist, man. I compete with myself. There’s nothing worst than coming out of the booth and being like ‘Yo, that shit was garbage.’ I’m not really thinking that Royce has a hotter 16 on this song than I do. I’m more mad that this song doesn’t sound better than the last.

XXL: With this being such a big project, the beats have to be just as big and just as hard. How are you guys going about developing a sound for the album from a production standpoint ?

Ortiz: Well, Red Spyda has been recruited to do a lot of the beats. But I really don’t wanna trip over who. The word who really bugs me when it comes to beats. That’s part of our M.O. We don’t care about the names of any producers. I want regular ass 19 or 20-year-old kids to submit beats on the internet. If it’s nice, let’s go. We don’t want this to be about a name. Don’t get me wrong, if one of these bigger producers submit something that’s heat, we’ll run with it. But I don’t want people to hear the CD and turn it over to see who [produced the song], I want them to be like ‘did you just hear that shit?’ I wanna give opportunities to anybody, any underdog, who’s making beats in the basement that they know is crack, send them in. We giving everybody a fair shot. This is a misfit project. This is a rebel project, something totally to the left. It’s about the music and nothing else. No industry shit.

XXL: Hypothetically, let’s say worst comes to worst and the album drops and doesn’t do numbers. Will the group then kind of disband…Is this a one-off project to test the water? What determines the future of the group?

Crooked I: I’m Slaughterhouse affiliate always. I can just walk in a room and yell it out and people know what it is…

Royce Da 5′ 9″: I’m down to do it as long as people wanna hear it. As long as there’s interest…I don’t have a number in my head of what I think it should do. I’m not gonna turn my back on the group just because the numbers didn’t go right. I’m sticking with it til the end because it’s fun for me to do. Turning my back on them isn’t really an option.

Joell Ortiz: Let me tell you something, even if this is a one-off Slaughterhouse record, it’s not a one-off thing, you understand me?

Joe Budden: This is a group, no matter what happens contractually. If we go to a label and they give us a one album deal, we still a group. This is Slaughterhouse. It’s bigger than rap. It’s bigger than making records. It’s more about the camaraderie, the vibing, the debating, the words, the helping each other, the unity. All the things that are lacking in hip-hop today.

XXL: Just keeping it thorough, have there been any problems in the group thus far with four egos coming into play?

Royce: You know what, I haven’t experienced one problem yet. I was concerned about Joey at first, cause he’s an asshole, but his personality doesn’t bother me cause I might be as big of an asshole. Ortiz, the same way. Crooked’s really the only modest dude in the group. He’s just so easy going that he gets along with everybody. But this is going to be successful because everybody’s personality is like a puzzle piece. It just fits together.

Budden: If it were any three other emcees, there would be. I wouldn’t even be down to do it. That’s why I’ve never really focused on features in the past. But with these three guys, it’s just as simple as if it were just me doing it.

XXL: People are always talking about things being ahead of their time. With hip-hop where it is now, do you feel like heads are really ready to receive and appreciate this Slaughterhouse movement?

Crooked: You know what, I think they would be if we had the right label, the right structure, the right marketing budget. I mean, c’mon, let’s be honest. If I’m trying to compete with McDonald’s I gotta spend as much on advertising as McDonald’s spends. If we got those things in order, we can reeducate the new generation of hip-hop on a lot of levels on skills versus non-skills. It’s like the miseducation of hip-hop out there right now. I don’t think hip-hop is dead, but it’s on its death bed. But it will still be effective no matter what. The cream always rises to the top.

Budden: Honestly, my answer is no. But I’d like to think of myself as forward-thinking and the great thing about that is normally when something genius comes about or something great comes about you have to have higher learning and get ready for it. That’s what I think is gonna happen here. Slaughterhouse is for every MC who loves their craft and showing that it’s not just about the business side that unfortunately everybody is vibing off of now. Actual lyrics and song making and being dope is forced to play the background. You can’t even quote lyrics like you used to. But you can quote Slaughterhouse.

(Thanks to XXLMag.com for this) =D


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