I love teams in rap. There’s something about a team’s chemistry that makes me nod my head a little harder whenever I’m bumping their songs. When the members of said team is on the same wavelength, the results are almost always spectacular. The Wu-Tang Clan had it during their run. Ghostface Killah and Raekwon still have it. Mobb Deep also had it during theirs. Jadakiss and Styles have it and still use it at nigh neck-snapping levels. Big Boi and Andre 3000 would still do it, had they not split up and Three Stacks started singing. Some of my favorite rising talents have shown flashes of it as well. U-N-I, Pac Div, TiRon and Ayomari and Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar do it, and they all do it well.

That said, I think the group “model” has faded quite a bit in the past few years, much like my faith in Nigeria’s chances of making it to the next round in the World Cup [1] (you disappoint me, Super Turkeys). I’ve felt that due to financial or egotistical constraints most teams ultimately dissolve, leaving a lot of disappointed fans and even more “what ifs.” So after seeing something like Slaughterhouse form together, I initially approached the idea with skepticism. Four disgruntled rappers from four different parts of the States coming together; it was only a matter of time before something would go wrong.

To my surprise that hasn’t happened yet, and I’m actually quite pleased to see that they seem to be signing with the house Jimmy Iovine built. Optimistic as I am, however, I’m still not convinced that this idea will work on a mainstream level. True, Joe Budden, Crooked I, Royce Da 5’9” and Joell Ortiz can rap circles around nearly anybody, and a four-person team composed of that much talent hasn’t been seen since the first version of The Firm. But in an era where the group has taken a backseat, I fear that Slaughterhouse will look more like another D-12 instead.

Then again, not too many people care about the “group” ideal in the first place because the group model as we knew it doesn’t exist anymore; instead it’s just a guy rolling around with his far less talented weed carriers. Rick Ross’ crew aren’t known for anything outside of that one guy getting cold clocked in Queens. I can’t even tell you the name of that female that wasn’t in Danity Kane that’s now a part of Dirty Money. And while Slaughterhouse is loaded with spitkickers many heads felt that Joe was the weakest link, with some going so far as to edit his verses out of the album.

With that said, I want Slaughterhouse to win and break this losing streak group rap has endured for years. Aside from it being redemption for the four artists who were once considered “the future” of their respective crafts, it’d prove that it’s much needed in rap. So long as they’re not doing any “My Band”-type tracks, however...

[1] Good job, Nigeria. With your elimination, I can now go back to ignoring “football” as I’ve done so for years. Good grief.