Before finding indie success and forming Slaughterhouse, both Royce Da 5’9” and Joell Ortiz spent time under the Interscope/Aftermath umbrella—with Royce ghostwriting at Aftermath and Joell Ortiz signed as a solo artist. Their group deal as members of Slaughterhouse signed to Eminem’s Shady imprint will effectively bring them back under the Interscope/Aftermath umbrella, and both emcees spoke on the significance of their return. The importance of the return was not lost on Royce, who spent a good deal of time involved in a feud with both Eminem and D12.
“It feels great, man,” Royce explained to Shade 45’s Farragut Foster, DJ Wonder and AJ The ManChild. “It’s obviously a little more personal with me, considering what myself and Em went through. It’s more just I’m happy we were able to mend that friendship and get back to how we used to be. That meant more to me than anything. We worked together a lot before, so it’s good to be back working again. When we first got back cool, I was really focused on just mending the friendship. I didn’t really care about doing no more music with him. It wasn’t important as me getting my homie back. It definitely means more to me…I feel blessed man. I think everything happens for a reason.”
Much like Royce, Ortiz found success independently after his time at Aftermath. Ortiz formally announced a split from Aftermath in 2008, after months of speculation. He always maintained that the split was amicable and allowed him to both continue to do business with Dr. Dre and keep the material he recorded while signed to Aftermath. True to his word, Ortiz is back in the fold with some of Hip Hop’s most critically acclaimed emcees at his side, and he expressed optimism at a return.
“When somebody like Eminem co-signs me in a group and is excited to do this, it means a lot to me as a person,” Joell Ortiz added. “Dr. Dre, of course, he was the first dude to really give me a chance singed to a major and show interest. It’s been an uphill climb, because things didn’t work out over there and other situations. But look, we back at it in 2011. It’s fresh and the sky is nowhere near the limit.”