Broke Beats is BDCwire’s open-source hip-hop column. Every Saturday, we showcase the best new albums, EPs, and mixtapes available for free stream or download.
One of hip-hop’s most undersold collectives, heavy hitters Joe Budden, Royce Da 5’9″, Crooked I, and Joell Oritz re-form like Voltron for “House Rules,” a ramp-up mixtape for the supergroup’s next LP “Glasshouse.”
The whiteknuckle lyricists are a bit more tame on this tape than on their 2012 full-length “Welcome to Our House.” Their cadences are noticeably slowed, and the production (provided by araabmuzik, Heatmakers, and Harry Fraud, amongst others) is a bit more ambient, with a much heavier key presence and less pump to the drumwork. “SayDatDen,” a promo single for the upcoming album, is a wonky slow-burner that sounds like it samples Okkervil River. Overall, “House Rules” feels less raw than anything Slaughterhouse has ever put out, which bodes well for “Glasshouse.”
As usual, Slaughterhouse comes correct on this latest effort, proving again that Budden, Royce, Crook, and Ortiz are among the most underrated rhymers in the game today. And, without a guest verse from Eminem, they show that they’re ready to move out of the shroud of their mentor and to do so without sacrificing the lyrical acrobatics that brought listeners their way in the first place.