Photos by Kendrick Asibor
By Maurice Bobb
Houston—Slaughterhouse continued their Texas takeover on Friday night (March 9) at Houston’s Warehouse Live with a lively and animated set in preparation for their role in next week’s highly anticipated Shady 2.0 SXSW Showcase in Austin. Just after 11 p.m., Shady Records’ four horsemen stepped onto the stage in waves, starting off with Joell Ortiz, who immediately dove into his opening verse on “The Illest,” igniting the crowd like charcoal briquettes at a Bar-B-Que.
Next out was Crooked I, then Joe Budden and finally Royce Da 5’9, dropping 16’s in succession, bounding around stage with the kinetic energy of rapid fire bullets.
The house was packed with dedicated fans, including Trae tha Truth and H-Town’s own Mayor of hip-hop, Bun B, echoing every word from the funky four’s playlist, which featured “Onslaught 2,” from the group’s self-titled 2009 album Slaughterhouse, “Nobody F–cking With Us” and “We Go Hard.”
The crowd’s fever pitch rose to a shrieking crescendo, however, when the DJ cued up the East Flatbush Project’s “Tried by 12” beat and the four-headed monster proceeded to execute their now legendary BET Cypher freestyle, highlighted by the throng enthusiastically yelling out Nickel Nine’s “Hi Rihanna” refrain on cue.
Songs like “Loud Noises” from “Bad Meets Evil,” ”Sound Off” and “Microphone” kept the audience engaged, until the beat was stopped and Crooked stepped up to rip his FunkMaster Flex freestyle acapella, drawing the biggest response with the line “You thinkin’ that you wanna be the sh–/Cause you fell out your mother’s other hole.”
Joey, who kept a Costco-sized bottle of juice handy near the front of the stage, kept the crowd entertained during music interludes with his off-kilter humor, before Royce served up “Fast Lane” and “Lighters.” Budden then took it back to his beginnings with “Pump It Up” before the group thanked the people for coming out and ended their hour-long set with “Hammer Dance,” the first single from their debut album on Shady Records, “Welcome To Our House,” schedule to be released on May 15.