Slaughterhouse Says Eminem Was "Big Difference" On "welcome to: Our House," Share Stories Behind "Goodbye" & "Truth Or Truth"

Exclusive: Joe Budden and Crooked I chart the group's growth and evolution three years later, and explain some of the key moments and ingredients in their Shady Records debut, "welcome to: Our House."

“We’re an alliance,” Royce Da 5’9 announces to a crowd of Slaughterhouse fans in Los Angeles, California’s El Rey Theatre. “We a outfit equivalent to Voltron’s,” he continues as “Sound Off’s” horns blast and audience members scream along to every word. He stands alone, momentarily, rhyming slowly until his pace picks up. Soon every member of Slaughterhouse joins him. First Joell Ortiz, then Crooked I and finally Joe Budden. This is Slaughterhouse. This is the alliance. This is Rap’s Voltron.

After overcoming obstacles as solo artists on different journeys, their paths met. Along with Nino Bless, these four emcees blessed a track and they titled it “Slaughterhouse.” It seemed like a one-off at first, a posse cut to be debated in barbershops, blocks and boards. Who had the best verse? But eventually, it was clear that the song was much more than that. It became the start of a group for these four emcees. It became this alliance, one as menacing as their name and as lyrical as their pasts might suggest. Critical acclaim followed as the group released an independent group project. Then, the video came.

There they stood. Eminem, on his song with Drake, Kanye West and Lil Wayne, chose to stand alongside a different set of emcees. He chose Slaughterhouse. His longtime friend-turned-foe-turned-friend Royce was right behind him. Crooked, Joe and Joell were right beside him. The smoke in that video became fire in a Shady Records deal for the group, forming Shady 2.0 along with Yelawolf. Then came the wait.

Slaughterhouse’s Shady debut was heavily anticipated. With Eminem’s backing, fans were curious and excited about what the outcome would be. Their first album, the independent project, was such a well received LP that expectations for their Shady record were through the roof. Then, this week, welcome to: Our House finally came.  

In this interview with HipHopDX, Crooked I and Joe Budden speak about the group’s camaraderie, Eminem’s contributions to their album, success, failure, “Truth or Truth” and “Goodbye.” They also discuss welcome to: Our House, their personalities and the importance of rhyming about their personal lives.

Slaughterhouse On Eminem’s Contributions, The Group’s Bond & Being Labeled In Rap  

DX: What elements do you feel this album has that the first album didn’t and what would you attribute that difference to?

Crooked I: Well, I can think of one element that’s different: Eminem. [Laughing] Yeah, that’s a very different element on this album. He had some influence on certain material. He arranged, he mixed and he was featured. That was a big difference between the first and the last album. Other than that, he was like, “Yo, I fell in love with the first project. Go and do what y’all do.”

DX: What about in the dynamics of the group? I know you all have become greater friends since the first. How has that camaraderie contributed to the recording process?

Joe Budden: I think the camaraderie is something that continues to get better as time passes, every day. While our chemistry was good the first go around – we did that album in six days – this time, I think the best way to say this is that the chemistry probably reflects the music a little more. That’s because we were allotted more time to let that show.

DX: When we spoke about the first Slaughterhouse album, Royce Da 5'9 said you wanted to address the boxes that people had placed you all in. With this album, what was the concern that you all had while discussing the direction of the album, if any?

Joe Budden: Nothing particularly. No, I think all of us just went in there and put our best foot forward. Then that Slaughterhouse music just started to come through naturally, organically. It was a cerebral process but we lent no thought to how we should be marketed or how we should be promoted or making a single or making a “girl” record. We didn’t play into any of that. There are a million roughs of records we started because we went there in like a machine, day in and day out, for weeks and weeks and weeks at a time in Detroit. Nah. Nobody thought about all of that. We just went in there, vibed out and zoned. Fortunately, for all parties involved, good music came out of it.

Slaughterhouse On “welcome to: Our House,” “Goodbye,” & Personal Lyrics Behind “Truth Or Truth”

DX: Joe Budden says, “Failure is not an option,” on “We did it.” Recently, we spoke with Crooked I about how success is different for everyone. How would you define success and failure with this album? 

Joe Budden: I’m the first one to say that success is self-determined. If the album comes out and it sells one copy, that’s really not my concern because we went in there and we made the best possible music that we were able to make. Whoever enjoys it, that’s great. I appreciate it. Whoever doesn’t, in my opinion, you’d be depriving yourself but you could feel totally different. The music is great.

Crooked I: I second that emotion. It’s like being in a barbershop and a dude walking up to you to say, “That ‘Flip a Bird’ joint is tough.” That’s a success to me. I feel like somebody appreciates what we’re putting in. That’s that. For me, personally, in my personal career, it’s been hard for me to get to that shelf. I’ve had several record deals. There was always something that went wrong in the process between me making music and actually putting it out. So, with the product being on the shelf, hey, that’s a success.

DX: On “Goodbye,” all of the emcees discuss very personal and yet very relatable topics. How did that song come together and how did you all respond to each other’s verses when you heard them? 

Joe Budden: I was blown away. I’m always blown away by things that these guys do.

Crooked I: Man! With “Goodbye,” which is probably my favorite song on the album, Joe [Budden] just went in there and laid it down. He set the tone. We was out here in L.A. at my studio. Boi1da came through with a crazy ass beat. Joe walked in the booth and the rest is history. We had to vibe off of what he was doing. His shit was so authentic and real, there was nothing we could do but follow it up in our own ways. You know?

DX: Is there ever a topic that is too personal to touch on a record?

Crooked I: For me, it used to be that several topics I used to be embarrassed to discuss. I grew up below the poverty line at times. Certain things I would be ashamed to talk about when I was a young emcee. You know? But when Tupac made “Dear Mama,” and exposed that his moms was hooked on crack at some point, me looking up to him and being inspired by him, I thought, “If we could be open enough to say that, I should never be afraid to say anything about anything that goes on in my personal life. Good or bad.”

DX: Joe, how about you?

Joe Budden: Hell no! Nah. The more personal, the better for me. Listen, if my dick is itching, I’ll rap about it. That’s just me though.

DX: Where do you feel that candid honesty comes from?

Joe Budden: I mean, I’m comfortable with me. That’s really the bottom line. I’m not really about what anybody else has to say or think about my life or the way I live it. When you operate like that, shit just comes easy. I don’t know if that’s a testament to honesty or security or comfort. I don’t know what to attribute it to but I’ll take it.

DX: Is that why you talk about being so proud of your son when he came up to you and said, “I’m weird” on “Truth or Truth?”

Joe Budden: Hell yeah! Hell yeah. Fuckin’ right! That wasn’t something like…I wasn’t privileged enough to be there every step of the way of my little guy growing up. But even if I was, that’s probably not something that I would have tried to give him so early on. He freestyled that shit to me. He caught me by total-total-total surprise. It was just like…It was an ill moment for me.

DX: It sounds like it was a proud moment too.

Joe Budden: Yeah, easily. It was easily one of my most proud moments.

Slaughterhouse On Learning From One Another, “Throw It Away,” “Our Way” & Emotions In Music

DX: What would you all say you’ve learned from watching each other now that you guys are friends?

Crooked I: I learn from them guys all the time, man.

Joe Budden: Word.

Crooked I: I just think a good artist, or human being period, has to learn something every day. The day you stop learning, I feel sorry for you. To be put into an environment around three genius artists, in my opinion, there’s so much you soak up and I soak it all up. It’s too much to even name and some of the stuff I’m learning without even knowing I’m learning.

Joe Budden: I learn entirely too much from those guys. I’m constantly learning.

DX: I recently asked Crooked I when he realized that [Slaughterhouse] was more than a Rap group and more like a family. But I was interested in the other members and when the moment came where you realized this was deeper than just a Rap crew, that it was more of a friendship.

Joe Budden: This was a long time ago. This was in 2008-2009. I figured that out early in the game for me. No one thing [made that happen]. It was a combination of things. But it was quite a few things and those things are still on display today.

DX: Songs like “Frat House,” “My Life,” “Throw it Away” and even “Our Way” sound like celebratory cuts. What do you attribute that to?  

Joe Budden: I attribute all the music on the album to whatever the overall mood of ours was at the time. If we were in the studio and we had one big party because we felt like we had finally got one step closer to whatever our ultimate goal is so we felt like celebrating, then we celebrated, we reminisced. We told war stories. We talked about four different brothers’ unique paths to get where we are today, all against the odds. But yeah, if it sounds like we were celebrating, it’s probably because we were celebrating some shit.

Crooked I: Yeah, if I went to the strip club that night in Detroit, then I might have a verse for “Throw it Away” ready. You know? But a good project in Hip Hop, as a fan of Hip Hop, not even as an artist, a good project should always respect the daily moods: happiness, anger, sadness. As long as you can feel every emotion on that album, the job has been done. If you could celebrate to “Throw it Away” and “My Life,” you could reflect on “Goodbye” and “Other Side,” you could understand what we go through on “Our House,” it’s a roller coaster of emotions. That’s what I want out of an album and I feel like that’s what we delivered.

DX: What would you say has been the most surprising aspect of your fellow group members?

Crooked I: Joell [Ortiz] could do stand-up. He’s hilarious. [Laughing] He can control a crowd like a mothafucka too, without even rapping. Royce [Da 5'9] is very technical. He’s very, very technical in the studio. He can take a song from one level to a whole ‘nother level without even rapping, just with his ideas. With Joey, one thing I’ve admired about him since we started this group, has been his openness and honesty, like we just talked about. If he’s on stage and feels a certain way, he’ll let the crowd know or even conducting an interview. So, these guys are definitely people to learn from, artists to learn from. It’s been a dope ride, man. If Slaughterhouse broke up tomorrow, it’s still Slaughterhouse forever on mine. I got the ink in my skin and it ain’t going nowhere, man. I’m Slaughter for life.

Purchase Music by Slaughterhouse

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Purchase Music by Crooked I

RELATED: Slaughterhouse: Rap In The Key Of Life

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44 Comments

  • drake is wack and so are u

    this album could have been better than what has been put out.. but even wit dat said, they're still better than 95 percent of the rap game.. all u chief keef, drake, lil weezi, piggy rozay cock fighter stans are the reason why hip hop is growing more homoerotic with artists like frank ocean and lil Bitch the fake god who deserves to be ran over repeatedly with 3000 diesel trucks over and over again...

  • Anonymous

    These cornballs dress like they're 12. Talk like they're 15. Rap like they're 20, and move units like they're 80.

  • Anonymous

    "Its like being in a barbershop and a dude walking up to you to say, That Flip a Bird joint is tough. Whoever said that must be on crack.

  • Anonymous

    Frat house, our house, goodbye, the other side, our way, die, EAT THAT HATERA!!!

  • Its Um

    nice interview, and I agree that being on shevles instead of gotten shelfed is a success.

  • Dick Throwa

    clearly eminems recovery is going well... hes 45 rapping about throwing dicks with slaugterhouse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im sure his handlers are thrilled with his progress!!!!!!!!!!!! ems up late pumping profopol putting finishing touches on slauterhouse throwaways!!!!!!!!!! LOL @ skyler grey and b.o.b. hooks u know these bums thought they had a secret weapon with those... really broguht in the big guns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! slaugter doing their best to emulate eminem and his circle chants... hold your lighters in the sky and cry shit... for all these rhymes not one is memorable... LOL @ crooked i trying to deliver super technical catchy sing a long lyrics on walk of shame BHWBWHBAHHWHWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA just make sure to rhyme "here" and "clear" like wiz khalifsgay and youre platnium right crook... get a clue u BUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! been riding the bench for 20 years now hes getting his first run ever and they already want him gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! joell ortiz needs to get into voice acting... cartoon goof... yaawaaaaaaa and pork rine giggles nigga has all these sound effects backing super corny lines on TRASH production please slaugter fans tell me what im missing here royce has all these start and stop flows where hes rapping about jack shit joell giggles and bumbles his way through candyland like a fat little pussy crooked i comes super technical on cee-lo stinkers that flop and raps about left eye and explains to u how real that is!!!!!!!!!! joe buddens tries raping like southern club niggas jay-z and eminem and fails EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! these guys got one last shot and blew it like no one else could!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! eminem thought these guys were gonna blow and let him retire... WRONG album time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Deborah

      I admire your mathematical powers: Eminem was born in 1972- so, lets see, tat would make him 40 this year. Your estimate- 45. This comment is funny tho.

    • Anonymous

      if you hate these guys so much, why would you click on the article, most likely read it, then write a book in the comment section about their group? if you don't like them, then leave their shit alone. kids these days.

  • Anonymous

    HRSMN any day over these LaughterHouse niggaz

  • Anonymous

    Yelawolf nearly outsold them with almost no promotion.

  • Anonymous

    The album gets reviewed a 4 1/2 and then an interview follows the same day. Kinda suspect DX after reading that review.

  • YEBO

    THEY JUST DID IT AGAIN? WHY? PLEASE TELL MY WHY, SLAUGHTERHOUSE BLABLABLA TALKS SOME SHIT WITH EMINEM'S NAME IN IT. THEY ARE PARASITING ON EMINEM'S FAME AND NOBODY WILL EVER GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THEM AFTER THEY WILL BE DROPPED FROM WACK ASS LABEL SHADY, BECAUSE EMINEM DOESN'T KNOW SHIT ABOUT MANAGING HIS ARTIST, THAT'S WHY D12 FELL OFF, OBIE TRICE EITHR, YELAWOLF FLOPPED AND LAUGHTERHOUSE WILL FLOP AS WELL, THAT'S THE FACTS! AND THEY AIN'T EVEN "REAL HIP HOP", JUST RANDOM POP ASS SHIT, THEY ARE SHAME FOR HIP HOP IN GENERAL, PEOPLE THINK THAT PEOPLE WHO LISTENS TO RAP ARE DUMBASSES AND AFTER THAT HYPE WITH SLAUGHTERHOUSE THEY WILL HAVE ONE MORE REASON. WE NEED TO SAVE HIP HOP, LET'S SUPPORT REAL PEOPLE LIKE 2 CHAINZ, NAS, WAKA FLOCKA FLAME, LIL WAYNE, LUPE FIASCO, WIZ KHALIFA, SOULJA BOY, MGK AND GUCCI MANE. ALL OF THESE GUYS ARE REAL LYRICISTS WITH AMAZING FLOW, SLAUGHTERHOUSE HAS NONE OF IT. FLOP BOYZ FLOP BOYZ, WHATCHU GONNA DO?

    • theRealShady

      "WE NEED TO SAVE HIP HOP, LET'S SUPPORT REAL PEOPLE LIKE 2 CHAINZ, NAS, WAKA FLOCKA FLAME, LIL WAYNE, LUPE FIASCO, WIZ KHALIFA, SOULJA BOY, MGK AND GUCCI MANE. ALL OF THESE GUYS ARE REAL LYRICISTS WITH AMAZING FLOW, SLAUGHTERHOUSE HAS NONE OF IT." Are you fuckin RETARDED or something???

  • Anonymous

    MORE FUCKING ** ADS ** PAID FOR BY INTERSCOPE JOELL WILL BE ** PAYING ** JAPANESE DUDES FOR HANDJOBS WHEN THIS FUCKING FLOP SETTLES ON THE WORLD LIKE WHITE CASTLE GREASE IN HIS FUCKING VEINS

  • Anonymous

    and if you don't think so, its cause you ain't on that level yet.

  • Anonymous

    album is straight dope.

  • OUT HOUSE

    They should've talked about how Em handed them all the corny circus music on the album and how he totally changed their sound. I hope J. Budden's did learn or adopt rather Em's talent for beats cuz that suck. I can't possibly imagine Mood Muzik or any other album of his with that wack ass white girl on there singing and the hollow ass beats.

  • Peezy

    Crooked I does indeed have the ink on his skin... SLAUGTER

  • Anonymous

    SLAUGHTERHOUSE SRT8 BEASTIN ON THESE NICCAS

  • piggface

    album of the year....its an album distributed by a major label what do yall expect a street album?? yall one minded fucks the album is for the masses and its still lyrical as fuck

  • hghg

    buy this shit man.. theres a classic album within the album if you delete about 6 tracks. you'll still be left with 12 outstanding tracks.

    • Honestly

      I feel you on that. There's like 20 tracks on this album and a bunched could be hacked off, and a few added from the mixtape to make a solid album. Kinda like what happened to blueprint 2

    • Anonymous

      blackula, you're an idiot.

    • blackula

      I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic, but if you deleted 6 of the weakest songs off of every album then they'd all be classics. It doesn't work that way.

  • OUCH!

    S l a u g h t e r h o u s e yes we are. the best in the biz

  • Anonymous

    it doesnt matter if you like this album or not, the truth is we gotta buy more albums from real lyricist so mainstream balances out with club and introspective music paying on the radio

  • Anonymous

    flip a bird goes hard!

  • Amirhossssein

    hope they land a #1 its the least they deserve god i hate the world when rick ross lies through out the album and sell 200k in first week where 2 chainz says nothing worth listening and still sells 150k and SH is fighting a nameless rapper for a number1 i hope 2012 is the end of the world cause i cant take it anymore