Crooked I-No Sleep Gang (Video)

When someone like Crooked I makes a club-ready banger, you had better get your good headphones on. Cardo serves up one hell of a production here, throwing together a top tier production for the newest single from Crook’s recently-released Apex Predator album.

That production is built on two primary components- a fast-paced, urgent melody on top and a eardrum-bursting amount of bass sitting underneath it. There’s plenty in between of note too, from the touch of synth through to a rugged, gristly distorted sound I can’t quite identify, but it’s those first two elements that really make this the type of production you’ll happily throw your body around for when it’s played. Menacing bass and lively melodies rarely fail. Crook’s flows are as watertight as ever, whilst his natural aggression is scaled back a touch to allow for a more club-oriented lyricism, though his rough nature still comes through well-enough. Put it this way: it’s still identifiable as a Crooked I track, but instead it’s got much more mainstream appeal than almost anything I’ve hear from his direction.

The video is pretty simple, as Crook is featured either roaming around in the club, or hanging around with his gang (who, as the title might suggest, aren’t keen on sleep). Nothing new or exciting, but a dimly-lit clip that suits the heavy production well. Grab the track on Apex Predator, which is available now.

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Slaughterhouse - To the Fans

A somewhat nicer video from Slaughterhouse for their fans than the previous one

My personal thoughts on Our House? I don’t love it, but I certainly like it. Combine it with the mixtape Slaughterhouse also released and you have around two dozen tracks to enjoy from one of the best hip hop groups in the industry right now, ain’t nothing to complain about there.

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Slaughterhouse - Goodbye ft. Fat Joe [Chris Lighty Tribute Remix]

Fat Joe jumps on the remix to deliver a personal tribute to Chris Lighty, who sadly took his own life recently. As many of you know, Chris was a man who was responsible for the success for a huge number artists in the hip hop biz.

Goodbye was one of my faves from Slaughterhouse’s recent album and is a perfect track to use for a tribute like this, it’s just such a very relatable track. Joell Ortiz delivers a new verse for Chris Lighty as well. Listen below and/or download here.

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Slaughterhouse - On The House [Mixtape]

Slaughterhouse finally release this much anticipated Gangsta Grillz mixtape with DJ Drama!

Serving as a warm-up for their début album under Shady records (dropping August 28th) the four-headed monster have released this tape to placate us Slaughterhouse stans. You can download from here, or stream below.

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Slaughterhouse-Truth or Truth

One more from the upcoming On the House mixtape, and if you thought the last drop from the tape involved lots of rapping, you’re in for plenty more.

Coming in at over 14 minutes, this marks their longest track to date and possibly one of their best. Royce opens up with an honest verse that comments on a plethora of rap topics, before moving to more aggression. Budden’s up next, and given that introspection is his forte, he delivers the standout verse, bringing a good dose of emotion and openness on a range of topics. Crooked I follows up with a healthy dose of intensity and energy, and though it lacks the personal feel of the two prior, it’s still an enjoyable verse for sure, and the intimate detail is back for Joell’s verse, as he discusses his family and more in one of his most reflective verses to date. The soulful production helps embellish the group thought pouring, and the combination makes for one of their most meaningful songs to date. Hip-hop excellence, and that’s not to be debated.

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Slaughterhouse - Goodbye

As we’re nearing the release of the much anticipated major label début from Slaughterhouse on Eminem’s revamped Shady Records, a few tracks are starting to drop. Some of those will feature on a mixtape that’s dropping tomorrow I believe, this track, I’m pleased to hear, will be on the album.

As awesome as their last album (independently released a few years back) was, it caught a little flack for being too much about lyrically obliterating beats, and not enough introspective songs that some of the members (Joe Budden specifically) are famous for. This cut, Goodbye, should usher those critics away. Listen below now if you ever wondered why we at OTU love this group.

Slaughterhouse – Goodbye

Make sure you buy this track from iTunes too by clicking here y’all.

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Slaughterhouse's Complex Feelings

Complex, ever a fan of lists, released one for the 30 Best Rappers in their 30s recently, and stepping away from decimating microphones for a minute, the Slaughterhouse quartet vented their opinions on the list in seperate interviews with Complex.

As you’d expect from this bunch, the results are pretty hilarious. Only Budden (24th) and Royce (20th) made the list, and the fallout from each artist is worth a watch. Budden is as sex-driven as ever, whilst Royce’s foolishness knows no bounds, including the ‘realisation’ that he’s the ’3rd best rapper from Detroit’. A very amusing watch, and it’s always good for fans to see this quartet showing their characters-if you’ve not been to one of their live shows, this is definitely a good insight.

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Slaughterhouse-See Dead People

Joe Budden treated us to a brief preview of this track just under a week ago, and we’re now gifted the entire 8-minute hip-hop assault, pre-empting that On the House mixtape due to drop any day now.

The production is urgent, ominous and intense; essentially, everything you’d expect from a good Slaughterhouse track. Royce opens with a nice mix of aggression and arrogance, packing it into a stop-start flow that adds emphasis well, before Crooked I comes through with a verse based around the paranormal/psychological song title that deserves much credit for sticking to the theme throughout. Joell’s up next with a quickfire flow that switches to a spoken word style at times, displaying Ortiz’s sheer confidence on the mic, and Budden closes things out in a similar manner to Crook, mixing psychological, horror and otherworldly themes into what is probably the longest verse of the track. I’d probably crown it the highlight verse too, though it’s a pretty tough choice-this is classic Slaughterhouse, rapping strong and long just because they can.

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Slaughterhouse announce On The House and preview See Dead People

Less than a minute long but there’s enough in here to keep the hip-hop heads happy. The fearsome foursome recently announced a mixtape to drop before their Welcome to Our House album does, and coming out of this video is the clever title (but no release date sadly) for the tape, On The House.

There’s a little preview of See Dead People too, a track from the aforementioned mixtape, with the beat playing throughout the video and a very quick glimpse at the raps at the very beginning of the video. Not much else to glean from this short clip, but fully expect more news and music to break soon in support of both projects.

Sidenote: I’m begging for them to take on some of the beats from the Joey Bada$$ mixtape for theirs. Stop salivating on your keyboard.

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Slaughterhouse-Weight Scale (Nasty Freestyle)

A double dose of good news, as not only have we got some new Slaughterhouse but the track is taken from an upcoming mixtape, set to be released before their album is on 28th August. Logical timing suggests that’ll drop early August, meaning we’re in for weeks of listening to Slaughterhouse tear down others’ beats before their own album drops. Awesome.

Crooked I dropped his own freestyle on this beat last year, and the other SH members have their turn with a great set of verses that really revitalises this production. Royce opens up, delivering some slick raps packaged into a high-paced flow before Crook steps in for round 2 with Nasty, bringing his own rapid fire style with a healthy dose of aggression. Joell comes in at 3rd with, you guessed it, another speedy set of raps before Budden does the same but with his typically cool, laidback gloss smothered on top. An excellent remix of the track, and four verses that would each be the highlight of any other track they were placed on.

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Slaughterhouse-My Life Video ft. Cee-Lo

Being Slaughterhouse’s most uplifting and feelgood song to date, many SH fans really didn’t take to this track on its release some time ago. I wasn’t one of those fans to be honest, and to me it was refreshing to hear some positivity from four talented rappers who’ve toiled away in the underground for the last decade, and are now finally getting their due.

The motivational Cee-Lo hook anchors this one, and again whilst its pop styling might not be to everyone’s taste, his powerful vocals are the best possible choice for a celebratory track. The raps are solid throughout, with a nice mix of biographical ‘come-up’ raps and a little braggadociosness, and whilst its not full of their typically aggressive, cutting raps, the flows are still strong from each member.

The video opens with an amusing Eminem feature, before launching into the energetic scenes with the Slaughterhouse quartet. Stylistically, there’s nothing here we haven’t seen before, and hence its an easy watch that fits in with the lively audio well, giving the rappers’ lighter side some much-needed video time. Their most mainstream-ready song to date, and one that hip-hop fans should still enjoy. Grab this on iTunes now.

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Crooked I-Psalm 82:v6

If I’m not mistaken, this marks the first lengthy project by any Slaughterhouse member this year, and hence this will certainly be a welcome release for the hip-hop heads.

18 tracks make this one, and Crook grabs a host of interesting features across those, ranging from the expected Slaughterhouse and Horse Shoe Gang appearances to veterans Twista and Kurupt, and many more in between. The suggestion is that there’s a lot of diversity from the COB representative here, and given his track record of excellent raps, I’m sure this project won’t disappoint. Free grab below.

Crooked I-Psalm 82:v6

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Crooked I-Exodus 23:1 Freestyle

Pusha T and The-Dream’s original Exodus 23:1 is easily one of my favourite tracks right now, and the ominous production is hijacked by one quarter of the Slaughterhouse machine for a quick freestyle blast.

The style of production is extremely well-suited to Crook’s raps, with his intense and aggressive delivery fitting the aura created by the powerful yet minimal beat, as Crook packs in some typically slick flows alongside lyricism that gives this lyricism the same punchiness that makes the original so playable. I don’t expect OTU fans to be a stranger to this guy’s work, and those who were fans of his HHWR series many moons ago will want to pick this one up.

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Slaughterhouse-Westwood Freestyle

The Slaughterhouse boys are at it again. It’s always a pleasure to see these guys come through with some freestyle work, and here they stop by at Westwood’s place whilst on their European tour to fire some bars off on Stay Schemin’, I Don’t Like, and I’m A Boss. It’s a selection of beats that most mainstream heads will be familiar with, and hence it’s great to hear the Slaughterhouse machine get their hands on them.

Whilst some of the bars are recycled from previous verses (I definitely recognised bits of Royce and Budden’s verses), the performances are still enjoyable enough throughout with some tidy flows and solid wordplay. Joell probably takes the win, purely because it’s clear most of his bars are pretty much improvised (unless he’s previously made a Nando’s reference?), though props to Crooked I for his fantastic, albeit short, flow for his section.

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Slaughterhouse-Hammer Dance Video

The Slaughterhouse machine is in full motion, and here goes the first video from their upcoming Welcome To Our House album. Hammer Dance is exactly the type of pulsating, driven hip-hop that fans expect from the foursome, and having given it some serious playtime upon the track’s emergence a little while back, the video release makes for a timely refresh of the track.

Opening with live footage that really sets the video off with some considerable energy, the video switches between a mixture of clips from live shows, backstage footage with several big name cameos (including some genuinely surprising ones), and some regular footage of each rapper performing their respective verse. It’s an uncomplicated, no frills video that pretty much nails the basic no-nonsense element of Slaughterhouse as a result, and is most definitely worth a watch for the hip-hop heads amongst you.

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1982 (Statik Selektah & Temanology) ft. Freddie Gibbs & Crooked I - Make It Out Alive

Latest drop from the Boston emcee and the hardest-working producer in the game. This can be found on their upcoming aptly-titled project 2012 which hits stores on May 22nd. This has got that military feel to it, slightly up tempo and sharp keys to boot. The verses are on point and each hold their own whilst Crooked exercises his lyrical muscle as to be expected.


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SP Double ft. Royce Da 5’9″ and Crooked I – Recognize

Not a big fan of the artwork here, but as they say: “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. And hell, if we did that nobody would listen to anything from the 90′s… What is important is that we’ve got a real nice (and I’m going to steal this word from Ajay) slice of hip-hop with half of the Slaughter teaming up with SP Double, who I’ll admit, I know very little about. But this is good and definitely worth a listen, if only for Royce/Crook.

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Slaughterhouse-Hammer Dance

Welcome To Our House is coming on May 15th, and the Slaughterhouse juggernaut precede that with this entertaining slice of hip-hop. They’ve been relatively active recently with a couple of freestyles (here and here), and now we’re treated to some original material to really set things off.

A thumping, heavy-hitter of a production sets things off from the get-go, with a powerful percussion accompanied by a screechy melody that adds the aggressiveness and intensity associated with the quartet. The raps are as enjoyable as ever, with a strong set of verses anchored around a simple yet catchy hook that gives this track the all-round feel some of their material is often accused of lacking. Definitely worth a grab, and I’m looking forward to more new works from the foursome.

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Slaughterhouse-She Will Freestyle

After coming together for an effort from Crooked I’s upcoming mixtape, the Slaughterhouse machine come together once again for a somewhat late remix of Lil’ Wayne and Drake once-ubiquitous She Will.

Late or not however, the moody, intense production is an excellent fit for every member of the collective (it’s a shame Royce isn’t on this), and as per they deliver their side of the bargain with a great output throughout; Budden and Ortiz even take on the hook with ease! Crooked I probably grabs the win with a variety of good flows on his verse, but credit goes to all three as they’ve injected that Slaughterhouse power into the track without losing the essence of the original.

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Slaughterhouse - Monsters in My Head

Slaughterhouse return with some raps over a throwaway track from The Game. Would have preferred for them to hit us with some fresh production, but given their relative inactivity I won’t complain!

Something I think the group should be attempting to do more of is introspective type tracks, it’s something that individually they’re all so brilliant at, and it comes as a bit of a surprise that they haven’t done more of it as a group. This song is one that is more of that fashion, though they don’t really pull it off as well as I’d expect.

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Crooked I-Sweet Freestyle

If 100 hip-hop fans were asked who they’d like to hear take on Common’s Sweet, I’m confident that Crook’s name would have been suggested by 99 of them. His aggressive, quickfire rapping style is ideal for a track borne out of anger and frustration, and whilst he could come with a little more punch and intensity, it’s still an enjoyable set of bars with some memorable lines packed into typically-slick flows. More good material from one quarter of the Slaughter.

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Yelawolf, T.I. and Slaughterhouse-Hard White Remix

Reuniting 5/6 of the rappers who obliterated the recent BET Cyphers, Yela grabs his Slaughterhouse labelmates and grabs a pretty solid substitute for Eminem in T.I. for a remix of his single from the Radioactive album.

The hard-hitting beat keeps things simple yet engaging, with a crashing percussion and hypnotising vocal sample set to a tempo perfect for the high-octane, densely-packed verses each of these rappers can provide. None of them disappoint either: T.I. opens with a laidback verse that switches speeds throughout and bounces off the percussion nicely, Yela follows up with a hushed verse that throws a few different flows into the mix effectively, whilst the Slaughterhouse quartet close the track out with four absolutely blistering, dizzying verses. An excellent effort that hip-hop heads will be replaying for quite some time.

Yelawolf-Hard White Remix ft. T.I. and Slaughterhouse

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Slaughterhouse - The Illest

Slaughterhouse return with a new track, fresh from the Shady 2.0 BET Cipher, which I’m sure everyone agrees outshone all the other ciphers into obscurity (except for the UK version which I’ve yet to see, why has this not popped up on the internet yet?).

This song is a statement that the Slaughterhouse machine is about to go into overdrive as they near completion of their first album under the Shady Records/Aftermath umbrella. The very apt Biggie sample for the hook elevates the chilled nature of the beat, a beat some (who are more used to Slaughterhouse’s energetic tracks) may find a tad flat, but all four members come through with an onslaught of lyrical ability. Don’t ask me which one of these lyrical monsters came with the best verse…because I honestly couldn’t tell you. Download below.

Slaughterhouse – The Illest

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BET Cypher: Shady 2.0 (Eminem, Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse)

The Shady collective come together for what is the standout session from the BET Cyphers, with each rapper delivering a set of raps that would have probably dominated in any of the other cyphers. Yelawolf opens proceedings with his blinding, breakneck delivery, whilst Joe Budden follows up with a slower, more lyrical affair that will understandably claim top spot for many, with a slew of clever, attention grabbing punchlines. Crooked I follows up with an excellent performance that will also have many fans, throwing some smart lines into a tongue-twisting flow, whilst Joell comes through with a verse that sits somewhere between Budden and Yela’s, though is certainly the weakest of the bunch. Royce brings the biggest quotable with his hilarious ‘Hi Rihanna’ line, and group captain Eminem finishes things off with a solid verse, though not quite as slick as some of his signees.

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Crooked I-Everyday [Video]

Sat thinking the other day how Crook killed that verse on Bad Meets Evil’s Loud Noises and that’s not to be sniffed at when you’re up against Em and the rest of the Slaughter.

Then I listen to the lead single from his upcoming Million Dollar Story and I’m thinking what differentiates this from any other bullsh*t rap emcees out right now? You’re right. Not much.

So I just checked our back catalogue for the audio and wasn’t surprised to find Ajay’s sentiments align with mine: “Normally, this is the sort of beat that really suits Crook but I’ve got to admit he doesn’t come through with his usual passion and aggressiveness. His flow sounds tired and the lyrical content suffers as a result, feeling a little forced and inorganic.”

Just seems a weird choice of lead single when he’s neither going for the club scene nor being uber lyrical.

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Sir Aah, Crooked I and Royce Da 5’9″-I Wonder If The Lord Knows Video

I’d forgotten about this track. Released almost exactly 2 years ago, this was actually the track that probably got people familiar with Sir Aah, and to me still stands up as his best material.

All three artists come on a real conscious tip, with Sir Aah commenting on the political and social problems rife throughout many Asian states with honesty, and hence arguably delivering his career-best verse. Crook spreads his targets wider, as he trots across the globe with his verse, acknowledging a wide range of issues in a typically enjoyable verse, whilst Royce focuses on the American situation in a solid verse of his own. Enjoyable track, and worth a couple of listens.

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Ludacris-F5 (Furiously Dangerous) ft. Slaughterhouse & Claret Jai

It’s often discussed who’d make a great 5th addition to the lyrical machine that is Slaughterhouse, and it’d be hard to argue against the case for Ludacris to be this fabled 5th member (not that there’s any chance Slaughterhouse are looking to recruit!). So seeing this collaboration immediately piqued my interest, what with Luda’s penchant for mind-altering guest verses, and Slaughterhouse….well, being Slaughterhouse.

So the result we find here is 5 great verses filled with many a clever punchline, over a pretty decent beat. What I didn’t expect was the awful chorus, which quite simply makes my head hurt. Shame about this annoyance, because this would make a brilliant song with a better thought out hook. Definitely worth picking up by you hip hop lovers out there regardless of this though, as you won’t really find a better bunch of lyricists who are still relevant in the game today.

Ludacris – F5 (Furiously Dangerous) ft. Slaughterhouse & Claret Jai

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Eminem, Yelawolf & Slaughterhouse-Shady 2.0 Boys [Live]

Oh man, what I would have given to have been in Detroit to see this live performance from the next generation of Shady Records.

Not the best quality of sound, given it was filmed by a spectator in the crowd, but it’s good enough. Hell, even if the sound was worse than terrible I’d still have posted this. Great seeing the dynamic of these collection of rappers on stage together, you can tell their rapport is genuine.

Go grab the audio for this by clicking right here. If you haven’t done so already, get yourselves on the Slaughterhouse & Yelawolf bandwagon now…by the end of the year there will be no room.

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Crooked I-Live Fast, Die Young Freestyle

Oh Crooked, I could never stay mad at you!

I may not be a fan of his most recent piece of original material, but he’s recovered well with this enjoyable freestyle over the Kanye and Rick Ross collab. As with most of his freestyles, he gets his flow just right for the production and comes through with the inimitable Crooked I lyrical style. Really can’t describe it any better: if you’ve heard any of Crook’s freestyles, you know exactly what you’re getting.

Crooked I-Live Fast, Die Young Freestyle

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