Thursday, March 3, 2011

Point/Counterpoint Special Edition - Slaughterhouse on Shady/Aftermath

Point, by Jay1:

Slaughterhouse signing to Shady/Aftermath is a moderately big deal.  It might actually be a sign of a sea change for Hip-Hop,  and anyone who's sleeping on this or considers to be an insignificant signing is a fool.

Here are some things to consider:

First up, lets look at this picture:

This is the photo I found that prompted the conversation that lead to the debate that is this weeks point/counterpoint.

Look at it.

Now, try to ignore the intern or production assistant or whatever she is, and look at the seating arrangements.  Next to Lady Gaga (one of the biggest stars in the world) is Will Smiths kid, Jayden Smith.  Behind him is his dad and his mom Jada Pinkett, and in between her and Lil Wayne is Slaughterhouse.

Slaughterhouse is sitting right there at the Grammys among some of the biggest stars in the world!  When I saw it, I felt happy.  Not like those were my friends and I was watching them achieve a new level of success but like they were friends of friends that I respect and were achieving a new level of success.  It was a "oh, hey cool, that's what's up, good for them" moment for me.

I like all the rappers that comprise Slaughterhouse, I'm not a super-huge fan of all of them, I can't front, but I'm a big Joe Budden fan, I like Ortiz a lot, I respect Royce and I don't hate Crooked I.
That being said, I'm happy that they are signed with Shady for 2 reasons.

First, it means a bigger spot light for them.  Whether you feel like most of us feel about Eminem at this point (he's still a talented rapper but makes crappy albums and songs), you cannot deny that he is still relevant and a co-sign from him can be a very powerful thing. 

unless you're this guy

I think the Eminem factor will have them on the cover of  magazines like XXL and The Source and on the inside of magazines like Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly.  That's a great look for a couple of spitters who arguably would not get that kind of publicity without Eminem and proof of that is the fact that they've already put out an album that kinda just slid under the radar and didn't have much publicity at all.  So I'm excited that they stand the chance to finally make the money and gain the success they deserve.

Exhibit A: The March Issue of XXL

Secondly, I love good rappers.  Spitters.   We all know that rappers don't always make good pop stars and pop stars are all that usually ever make any money or get any real success with a few exceptions but I'm starting to think (Hope?) that the signing of Slaughterhouse is a sign that rappers are going to be fashionable again. 

Look at some of the hottest/buzz worthy rappers out right now:  Kanye West, Drake, Lil Wayne and Jay Electronica, J.Cole, Cory Gunz.  Say what you want about any of them, but those dudes are super talented MC's whos gimmicks are that they can rap their asses off.

This is not the No Limit era, this is not the Crunk era, this is the tail end of the skinny jeans/Souljah Boy era and dudes are rapping again.  I love that.  Music is cyclical, and I think we may be on the verge of the summer of the MC.

So really thats all I'm saying.  I'm saying this is not a point/counterpoint about whether or not Slaughterhouse is gonna change the world, but a point/counter point about whether or not we should be hopeful that their signing is a reason to be optimistic. 

And I say it is.
Budden got a seat at the Grammys but he had to bring his own food apparently

Counterpoint, by Skip Serpico:

Dude, Slaughterhouse signing to Shady/Aftermath means nothing.  It's not a sign of a sea change for Hip-Hop.  It's irrelevant and anyone who's getting their hopes up is a fool.

Here are some facts to consider:

Fact One:

Between the four members of Slaughterhouse they have five shelved albums. Every member has one and Crooked I actually has two.  So the chances of a Slaughterhouse album actually be released on Shady/Aftermath is 50/50, at best.

Fact Two:

They've all had problems with labels before. Hell, Joell Ortiz has already been dropped from Aftermath once and Royce da 5'9" bumped heads with Dr. Dre in the past.  Joe Budden clashed with Jay-Z and Crooked I made the mistake of signing with Death Row. Why would things possibly go better this time around?

Fact Three:

Signing to Shady or Aftermath doesn't mean that you'll release an album.  Just ask Rakim, Stat Quo, Obie Trice, RBX, King Tee, Eve, Dawn Robinson and Bishop Lamont. Actually now I'm decreasing the odds that Slaughterhouse releases an album on Shady/Aftermath to 25%.

Fact Four:

They've experienced minimal success as individuals, why would they experience more together? They're like another Aftermath act, The Firm, only with much less success.  Actually they're like if U-God, Cappadonna, Inspectah Deck and Masta Killa released an album together; only their mediocre fan bases are going to care.

So believe it if you want to, but Slaughterhouse signing to Shady/Aftermath isn't important, news or really anything to pay attention to.

And Further More, by Pinky Ring

Look, we’ve seen this film before and we know how it ends.

Legendary rapper co-signs upstart or maligned rapper (fill in the blank) and it goes all wrong, or at least not as good as you would think a la Jay-Z and Bleek.

One of these dudes is in Jay Z's will, the other is not even in his cell phone.

The way you think some unattainable or coveted item will be is rarely as good as dreamed.  I've had a crush on Naomi Campbell since middle school and if I could somehow get across the state line into her virginia I know it would never be as good as it is when I'm by myself- but I digress. Obie Trice was signed to Eminem too if you don’t recall. He even put out two albums on Shady for pete's sake. That co-sign did nothing for his career. I imagine Eminem’s signing of Slaughterhouse will go much like this:

Ortiz always look awkward
Eminem will appear on two singles- one will be hot and the other will be warmed over. One of the two associated videos will be your run of the mill club video that may flip to a grainy black and white video for a “street” single in which, Eminem will appear horribly out of place.

The other video will be a doozy. I guarantee the members of Slaughterhouse will be dressed like ninjas, Storm Troopers or something wacky. They’ll be rappelling down the side of a mountain rapping while each of them gets an awkward close up that they're going to be trying to look really mean in.

Eminem will play a James Bond style villain living in a mountain side stronghhold with his robot butler and fuzzy white cat. The video will end with an epic rap battle between him and Slaughterhouse and then fade to black and Eminem wakes and it was all a dream. I guarantee it goes something like that.

The album will drop and will be critically panned and a commercial flop, but from the ashes of that?  An amazing Joe Buddens solo joint.

Because they're great spitters, but poor products. Ortiz may rise out of the ashes with a decent mixtape and/or solo album, otherwise, I'll chalk this one up as good intentions with a terrible outcome. My tiny black grinch heart is growing though, cause I secretly want it to work.


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