Slaughterhouse tore through the sold-out Best Buy Theatre Thursday nightin preparation for the spring release of their highly anticipated album “Welcome To Our House.” Hip-Hop duo Par-City and Da Union’s DJ O. Minaya opened the show and rocked it with a dope performance that got the crowd riled up.
“If there was ever any doubt that it wouldn’t happen,” Detroit member Royce Da 5’9″ said. “It’s happening, baby.”But with good news came a little bad. Joell Ortiz, the Brooklyn-native Puerto Rican of the group, wasted no time in announcing that an hour and a half before the show, Joe Budden was arrested by the NYPD for driving with a suspended license in 2007.
The predominantly-male crowd erupted into a unison of boos but the remaining ‘House members: Crooked I, Royce and Ortiz did a sufficient job in keeping the spirit of Joe Breezy throughout their set.
The hip-hop heads were treated to a showcase of raw bars and impressive flows. Their hardcore renditions of “Sound Off” and “Microphone” were instant crowdpleasers. The BET cypher lacked steam with Eminem, Budden and Crooked’s contributions dismissed. Crooked, the quieter of the three with the loudest set of blinding chains, saved his verse for an acapella freestyle, which was the highlight of each of their individual sets. Soon as the music stopped, their solo freestyles lit up the stage.
Given their unique endeavors into music, the rap team of underdog elite let their personalities take center stage while still sizing each other up. Ortiz, the obvious funnyman of the group, would clown on Royce’s whirlwind verses even throwing some at his absent team member. “Budden probably tweeting from his prison cell,” Ortiz said. “On some bullshit.” The Detroit native Royce let New York know where he was from with a cover of the nowhere-to-be-found Eminem’s “8 Mile.” Ortiz bumped Biggie’s “Hypnotize” for Brooklyn while the members of Naughty By Nature stopped by to help rep on Budden’s behalf for Jersey.
Even if Jump Off Joey was rocking in his cell, Slaughterhouse broke in between songs to remember him, evoking “Free Joe Budden” chants and a couple of “F**k the police” screams throughout the night. The DJ dropped “Pump It Up” in honor of the Jersey boy much to the nostalgic pleasure of those in attendance.
The venue came to roaring life when the Shady boys danced off in their live version of “Hammer Dance.” The two-step “gun in my pants” anthem was performed not once, not twice but three times, in “Watch The Throne” fashion as the crowd ate it up each time. No doubt that Slaughterhouse still slayed even if handicapped.-Adelle Platon
Photography: Karl Ferguson