Jersey City’s poster child Joe Budden and Brooklyn’s own Joell Ortiz felt the hometown love last night during Slaughterhouse’s sold-out show at BB Kings, located in the heart of Times Square in New York City.
The event, hosted by Hot 97’s Funkmaster Flex and Peter Rosenberg, ran on true hip-hop time, starting an hour later than advertised. Around approximately 11:30 PM security was forced to begin letting fans in the building, as the line for the concert had consumed well-over three blocks of the sidewalk in NYC’s already crowded tourist attraction, Times Square. Flex began his set at midnight and warmed up the audience by strictly spinning old-school joints, taking hip-hop back to its roots and essence, even leaving a majority of the younger attendees out of the loop without regard. BB Kings was barely illuminated and fans weren’t completely filed in until the end of Flex’s set, but that set the tone for the four main event performers.
At exactly 1 AM, Slaughterhouse’s tour DJ, DJ Frequency, started off the show by dropping the instrumental for “Sound Off.” Each member of the four-headed monster collective first appeared on the stage according to the chronological order of the verses in the song.
Next, the MCs took turns introducing themselves to their die-hard fans. After Budden was formally announced, the rhyme slinger received the loudest ovation and caused the crowd to begin chanting “Joey!…Joey!…Joey!” The last time Slaughterhouse had a show in NYC (at Best Buy Theater, also in Times Square), Joe was arrested right before the show started for a $75 unpaid parking ticket. Going through that ordeal led him to jokingly tell the crowd, “Knock it off, the cops might come.”
One of the show’s many highlights was when the Shady Records signees performed their BET Cypher verses, and the crowd rapped along in verbatim to each 16. The most memorable moment occurred when Royce recited his “Hi Rihanna” references, much to the audience’s delight, who waved along with the MC in unison. The 313 rapper also performed his verses off of “Fast Lane,” one of his many collaboration with Eminem.
Joell Ortiz requested Crooked I to spit accapella for the true hip-hop aficionados in attendance at the culture’s mecca. The West Coast representative of the group more than delivered, and earned well deserving appreciation for his wordplay, punchlines, and tongue-twisting intricate flow switches. Among his numerous jaw-dropping lines were: “You were thinking you were born to be the shit, like you was born out your mothers other hole,” “Turn the DJ to an MMA fighter, the way he mix martial artists” and “Ain’t no better mobsters/We a mix between Tyra Banks and energy drinks…Four-headed monster!”
Budden and Ortiz also did fan-favorite solos to pleasure their hometown fans that have been supportive through their endeavors since day one. The YAOWA rapper proceeded by sharing this message to the Slaughterhouse fans: “I see hip-hop is alive and well in BB Kings here in New York City!” It was only fitting that he then transitioned to performing his breakthrough hit, “Hip-Hop.” The song and performance exemplified and embodied the epitome of true creativity and craftsmanship in hip-hop culture, as Ortiz truly left his heart on the stage. Next, Budden got the crowd moving when he performed the Just Blaze-produced banger, “Pump It Up.” The rest of the Slaughterhouse crew did their share in adding to the atmosphere by adding adlibs to back the already up-tempo track.
As a whole, Slaughterhouse also performed “Microphone,” “My Life,” and their two “Hammer Dance” and “Throw It Away.” SH’s performance of “Hammer Dance” had the entire audience two-stepping along to the beat’s infamous whistle.
Slaughterhouse is currently prepping for their Shady Records-debut album, Welcome to: Our House. Eminem mixed the entire LP, which drops on August 28. Royce and Crooked I advised the crowd to support real hip-hop, and to cop not one, but two copies of the album. Joell Ortiz added that even if he wasn’t on the album, it would be still something he would promote, due to the raw lyricism that is such a rare commodity in this era of the culture. If last night was any indication, Welcome to: Our House should be a hit.—Christian Bonoan