AlthoughÂ Joe Budden, Royce Da 5â€™9, Joell Ortiz, and Crooked I all struggled independently for years,Â in 2008 all of that changed when they collaborated for a song on Buddenâ€™s Halfway HouseÂ album. Thereafter they took the title of said song and made a group out of it. Slaughterhouse even released an independent album. Yet, it wasn’t until they signed to Shady Aftermath that big things started to happen for them.
Almost two years have passed since inking their deal with Eminem, and finally the supergroup has released their first full-length recording. Welcome to: Our House is well named, and begins with the assurance that this manor is filled with outstanding emcees only. Every track thereafter is a testament to this fact, (and not just those with Marshall Mathers). That said, â€œOur House,â€ â€œThrow That,â€ and â€œAsylumâ€ are all exceptional.
Straightjacket flows are coupled with body bag deliveries. Zippers collapse on themselves when â€œHammer Danceâ€ and â€œFrat Houseâ€ play. Itâ€™s exciting to see hungry rappers feed off of each other. It’s refreshing to hear them touch on more serious subject matter.Â The track â€œGoodbyeâ€ is aÂ farewell to those that matter most. Crooked Iâ€™s tale thereinÂ about his uncle is unforgettable, and his emotional exchange should be applauded.
Joe Buddenâ€™s verse on â€œRescue Meâ€ is evidence his poetic delivery is aging well: â€œDonâ€™t know my story, my struggle, the demons that I combat; or how Iâ€™m staring at them waiting for eye contact. Beyond that I got a soul mate thatâ€™s naÃ¯ve, so the thought of me is prison to herâ€¦â€ Then thereâ€™s Ortiz, the Brooklyn-knight battles every beat effortlessly. On â€œFlip A Birdâ€ he cooks with words to reveal how he was able to getÂ out of the hood.
Last but not least is Royce. As of late Nickle has been being going in on records, and this album is no different. On â€œCoffinâ€ he opens up with, â€œI said I ainâ€™t fuckinâ€™ with you, you can suck a short for Richard.â€ Clever lines abound, and with limited bars on each round itâ€™s incredible to see the knock outs these men are capable of. This album contains a rapperâ€™s rapper times four, lyricists every one with no fear to go raw. For those complaining that the brash bravado of the 90â€™s no longer exists, purchase welcome to: Our House and be pleased that youâ€™re wrong.