XXL: Hypothetically, let’s say worst comes to worst and the album drops and doesn’t do numbers. Will the group then kind of disband…Is this a one-off project to test the water? What determines the future of the group?
Crooked I: I’m Slaughterhouse affiliate always. I can just walk in a room and yell it out and people know what it is…
Royce Da 5′ 9″: I’m down to do it as long as people wanna hear it. As long as there’s interest…I don’t have a number in my head of what I think it should do. I’m not gonna turn my back on the group just because the numbers didn’t go right. I’m sticking with it til the end because it’s fun for me to do. Turning my back on them isn’t really an option.
Joell Ortiz: Let me tell you something, even if this is a one-off Slaughterhouse record, it’s not a one-off thing, you understand me?
Joe Budden: This is a group, no matter what happens contractually. If we go to a label and they give us a one album deal, we still a group. This is Slaughterhouse. It’s bigger than rap. It’s bigger than making records. It’s more about the camaraderie, the vibing, the debating, the words, the helping each other, the unity. All the things that are lacking in hip-hop today.
XXL: Just keeping it thorough, have there been any problems in the group thus far with four egos coming into play?
Royce: You know what, I haven’t experienced one problem yet. I was concerned about Joey at first, cause he’s an asshole, but his personality doesn’t bother me cause I might be as big of an asshole. Ortiz, the same way. Crooked’s really the only modest dude in the group. He’s just so easy going that he gets along with everybody. But this is going to be successful because everybody’s personality is like a puzzle piece. It just fits together.
Budden: If it were any three other emcees, there would be. I wouldn’t even be down to do it. That’s why I’ve never really focused on features in the past. But with these three guys, it’s just as simple as if it were just me doing it.
XXL: People are always talking about things being ahead of their time. With hip-hop where it is now, do you feel like heads are really ready to receive and appreciate this Slaughterhouse movement?
Crooked: You know what, I think they would be if we had the right label, the right structure, the right marketing budget. I mean, c’mon, let’s be honest. If I’m trying to compete with McDonald’s I gotta spend as much on advertising as McDonald’s spends. If we got those things in order, we can reeducate the new generation of hip-hop on a lot of levels on skills versus non-skills. It’s like the miseducation of hip-hop out there right now. I don’t think hip-hop is dead, but it’s on its death bed. But it will still be effective no matter what. The cream always rises to the top.
Budden: Honestly, my answer is no. But I’d like to think of myself as forward-thinking and the great thing about that is normally when something genius comes about or something great comes about you have to have higher learning and get ready for it. That’s what I think is gonna happen here. Slaughterhouse is for every MC who loves their craft and showing that it’s not just about the business side that unfortunately everybody is vibing off of now. Actual lyrics and song making and being dope is forced to play the background. You can’t even quote lyrics like you used to. But you can quote Slaughterhouse.-Anthony Roberts