Royce 5’9 Explains In Detail What Went Wrong With Slaughterhouse (Video)
This month, Hip-Hop fans learned that Slaughterhouse has disbanded. One week ago, KXNG Crooked (aka Crooked I) announced his group exit on social media. Within days, Royce 5’9 explained how without Crook, that the group also including Joe Budden and Joell Ortiz would not continue as a unit. He added that the announcement was news to him.
In a new interview with AllHipHop, Royce opens up further about Slaughterhouse. Looking at the last decade, the Detroit, Michigan MC who also belongs to PRhyme and Bad Meets Evil, explains where Slaughterhouse made some missteps in its development.
“When [Slaughterhouse] first started, we didn’t do a whole lot of thinking. There had been a long time since any of us had been on major labels. So when we went in and did all of the first music, everything was just a vibe, just a feel. When we did the first [self-titled] album, I kind of took the lead. That’s why you hear my verse first [on many songs], and I’m doin’ most of the hooks. I start stockpiling the beats and just layin’ ideas,” Royce tells AHH’s Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur. “Then we fell into this lil’ zone where I’d lay [a song] and give it to [KXNG Crooked]. He’d take it, lay it, then give it to Joell [Ortiz], and Joe [Budden] would come right behind it, lay it, and Joe would lay it last. That kind of turned into our formula. We weren’t aiming for anything. We were just having fun with it. We ended up doing festivals like Rock The Bells and all of that so soon, and it started happening.”
After releasing their debut independently through eOne Entertainment, Eminem’s Shady Records signed the collective. Royce had recently revived B.M.E. with Em, and Joell was previously an artist on Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment label. “When we signed our deal with Shady [Records], it turned into this environment where everybody turned into a chef. It was like everybody in the kitchen was a cook. Everybody wanted to start the records. Now, too much of our brains started being involved,” said Royce, after his de facto leadership role in 2008 and 2009. “We started looking at the criticism: ‘Will they be able to make songs for the radio?’ ‘Will they be able to live up to the hype of being signed to Shady and making songs that can be commercially viable?’ We started making a lot of single-type-sounding songs. Then, by the time [Eminem] got a hold of it, and got a hold of all the music we were doing, I think the songs that he decided to pick for the [welcome to: OUR HOUSE], were just too many of the commercial-sounding songs. That’s just him doing it how he probably would’ve done with his own albums, because when he works on something, he gives it his all. He puts the work into it like it’s his own project. So we just sat back and trusted his judgment on that.”
Looking back to 2012’s Top 5 release on the charts, Royce admits, “I still love that album, I just think it was a lil’ soon for that kind of album. It was almost like we were celebrating—we were celebrating something that we hadn’t achieved yet. I think there were steps leading to that album that we should’ve took first, and then maybe did an album like that. It’s almost like if 50 [Cent] would’ve came with ‘In Da Club’ before ‘Wanksta.’ It would’ve been a little weird.”
The veteran continues, “We were so eager just to get there, and we wanted to show people what we could do. And Em believed in us so much, ‘These are the songs. We gonna go, let’s go,’ and I think it was just an all-around misfire, but it was a good fire. Because it sold well…as soon as we put the album out, that’s when I got sober. So that very first [Shady] tour, I couldn’t go, because I didn’t feel confident enough being out there that soon. I ain’t feel like I’d be strong enough to be out there without drinkin’. So I got the guys on the phone and told ’em how I felt and they supported me. So that’s why that tour didn’t happen.”
Royce then details some of the recording for an album KXNG Crooked called Glass House. “Then, when we got in there and started talkin’ about doin’ the third album, the second album on Shady, we got in there with producers—J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, !llmind, araabMUZIK, Just Blaze, and we started workin’…and we did a body of work. We still felt like we needed more. But then, after that, Joe was doing Love & Hip Hop, Joell started doing some other sh*t, Crook started doing some other sh*t, me and [DJ Premier] did PRhyme. Since then, we haven’t been able to catch each other a time when we all wanted to give it 100% at the same time. I just look at it like Slaughterhouse is something that we knew [had] a time limit to it. We knew it, ’cause we were all solo artists before. I feel like we stretched it longer than any other group that ever tried to do what we tried to do. Think about it: you’ve got the 4 HRSMN, [as well as] JAY-Z, Ja Rule, and [DMX]—they never got a chance to do theirs,” he says of Murder Incorporated as well as a late ’90s collective formed by Kurupt, Ras Kass, Killah Priest, and Canibus. “Any time guys tried to form like that, they never gave it two albums. We did two albums and two mixtapes. We did a lot, and I’m happy with what we did with it. If we never do anything again, I’m happy with what we did.”