Slaughterhouse At Neumos In April

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This April, Seattle hip-hop fans will be treated to what promises to be an interesting experience when emerging group Slaughterhouse performs at Neumos on Sunday the 6th.

The Shady Records group, consisting of rappers Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, Royce da 5’9”, and Joe Budden, has had something of a rebel streak to it since it first formed in 2008. The song “Move On”, one of the group’s first, specifically sought to position each individual of the group to leave his respective past behind him, and once the group became a bit more established its transition to the major Shady record label was a bit rocky, with a couple of rumored controversies along the way.

Slaughterhouse released The Slaughterhouse EP just as the group finally signed with Shady Records, though the first official album under the new label was Welcome To: Our House, which earned a very positive overall critical response and sold extremely well. With this first official release, Slaughterhouse seemed to have finally found itself as a group, and 2014 should be a fascinating year as the group looks to build on its momentum with Glass House, a new project.

So what can fans looking for tickets to Neumos expect to hear from Slaughterhouse this April? Frankly, it’s a tough group to pin down heading into a concert, simply because there’s a great deal to them.

One face of Slaughterhouse that’s perhaps a bit more suited to a concert environment is that displayed on the well-known Death Of Auto-Tune” freestyle, which plays on the members’ natural talents and also displays some pretty standard hip-hop themes. The freestyle disses Auto-Tune, plays up its members’ toughness, prowess, and ability, and even alludes to the gambling theme we’re seeing more and more in rap stars and songs alike. The reference to “putting your nines on the craps table” calls to mind the same casino imagery we’ve seen through videos from Lil Wayne and songs from Kanye West. It’s as if artists all across hip hop are engaged in casino games at Betfair online, supplementing their time in the studio with live poker, craps, and other games to stay in tune with their gambling sides. Slaughterhouse is a unique group of rappers, but this allusion to the increasingly popular gambling theme provides one connection to hip hop as a whole, and one has to wonder if little connections and references like these might be more present in a concert setting.

Another face of Slaughterhouse simply seems angry. Now, there’s always been that side of hip hop, and in particular accomplished individual artists often feel the need to vent on the current state of the art. However, with the group’s controversies and difficulties seemingly in the past, and with the success of Welcome To: Our House and likely follow-up success of Glass House, one must also wonder if the general feeling of watching Slaughterhouse perform (if not the lyrics) might be a bit more cheerful.

Finally, there’s collaborations to consider. As an ensemble group with connections to an enormous range of artists, Slaughterhouse has not been shy about allowing other artists (most famously Eminem) some time and creative sway over its own tracks. This is naturally difficult to convey live, no matter how good it might sound on an EP. As a result, it should be interesting to see how Slaughterhouse compensates without collaborators in a live environment at Neumos.

At the end of the day, however, this is a concert for Seattle hip hop fans to circle on the calendar. With the impending release of Glass House, this show should essentially amount to catching a superstar group at the height of its powers.

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