Classics / Canon edition of the DiS Hip-Hop Listening Club


Actually gonna be a bit lazy as I can’t put it better than this from Angus Batey:

What makes SlaughtaHouse so great a work of art is that, while the incipient destruction of hip hop culture through the industry-created rise of the talentless fake gangsta is its key theme, it’s far from its only subject. Indeed, it’s only the title track that explicitly and specifically goes in to full-length detail on the topic: elsewhere, Ace and his associates zoom in on the effects of the self-loathing and the societal damage done by those who peddle lowest-common-denominator bullshit to audiences far too ready to accept it as authentic. If the album was a film, it would have been shot from a dozen or more different vantage points, as if the director had put cameras in buildings on four sides of a city square, the lenses trained down into the centre, showing the action from every angle. Each song is different, yet each ends up revealing another part of the complicated and compelling whole. The reportage Ace had shown consummate skill for on tracks from his debut such as ‘Brooklyn Battles’ is morphed, on ‘Late Model Sedan’, into a lament, and ‘The Big East’ takes up the theme of black-on-black crime’s antithesis of the inclusion and affirmation hip hop had promised to bring to the communities that spawned it. In ‘Who You Jackin’?’, Ace and Perry take on the roles of, respectively, a mugger and a woman ready to defy the statistics and ensure she’s not his next victim - and thereby show how a first-person, ostensibly “gangsta” style, can be used to show how strength, resolve and determination can trump violence and negativity. And it’s all done with plenty of unforced humour, from the kind of juxtapositional joke that underpins ‘Saturday Nite Live’ (contrasting street stick-ups with the comedy TV institution and its promotional catchphrase), to the grimly determined satire of the title track, and on through the little isolated gems of lyrical and musical invention that pepper every song.


Yeah - I think he overdid the concept album thing after this. They started feeling a bit templated. Amazing on the first few listens, become a bit of a chore after that. I don’t have that problem with Slaughtahouse - my most listened to Masta Ace album by far.


Yup, this is definitely his smartest concept album. Great way to have your cake and eat it. If it wasn’t for that really blatant “MC Negro” and “Ignant MC” track you could just let it role by without realising he’s playing characters or playing up the hardcore rap thing at all. At the same time, it’s not the sort of tiresome preaching some “conscious” rappers reacted to the fake gangsta rap trend with


Great Stretch and Bob freestyle with Masta Ace, Paula Perry and Lord Digga that always sticks in my head. Guess this was just before Sittin’ on Chrome came out

Skip to 38:00.


great find! unfortunately not working on my work pc >:( , but will check later


Ah - found a YouTube link with just the freestyle.


This was fire, thanks :fire:


Not been on here long but this thread piqued my interest and I’ve read the entire thing in almost one sitting. Some interesting choices and a big thank you to whoever it was in the thread that linked to the Angus Batey anniversary articles which are fantastic reading.

Time to own up that I was a huge hip hop fan back in the late 80s and early 90s but rapidly lost interest when gangsta/thug/hustler rap became the dominant style and flows became more important than beats.

Honestly haven’t listened to much hip hop in the last 20 years and with the likes of Drake everywhere haven’t felt I’ve been missing out BUT… reading this thread and the enthusiasm everyone has written about the choices has encouraged me to take another look.

I’ve listened to the first two albums. Pharcyde I fairly enjoyed at the time but enjoyed it much more now and discovered some tracks i had previously tended to skip over before. Passing’ Me By still stands up well and I still love one of my all-time favourite lines “damn I wish I wasn’t such a wimp”.

KRS-One is interesting. Have always loved a bit of BDP and his solo stuff but always thought despite having funky boom-bap beats, I always found them kinda limited. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a huge Public Enemy fan and nothing would stand up against the wall-of-sound collage of PE productions but even in comparison to other boom-bap stuff, thought KRS’s beats were a little basic (heresy i know!) Still great for head nodding though.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. Have paused here as I am about to take my first hesitant step into post-2000 hip hop with Cam’ron. Not quite sure what to expect but might as well dive in the deep end…


ay nice to have you, ramble on. interested to hear your thoughts on the other picks, especially camron and the stuff from the south.

one of the reasons i dont really like public enemy is cos the beats were just too much noise. but i didnt really come to love rap from the rock side, they werent an entry point for me.


Public Enemy are a weird one for me. I’d liken to someone like Slayer. Love them, listened to them a lot as a lad, rarely find myself in a situation now where I fancy listening to them. I find if I want a hit of Bomb Squad production I go for AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted.

El-P’s earlier stuff references Bomb Squad quite a lot - might be worth a look if you enjoy that wall-of-sound style. Might even pick something of his when it’s my turn…

Good post though! Hope you check some more stuff out!


you know i love me some masta ace.
i miss jeeps being in music videos


should defs be part of the 90s revival. can never decide whether i prefer jeep ass or born to roll. both bang hard


first time listening to this, like it a lot. jeep ass and the big east are my early favourites but good stuff all round


Not sure how I’ve never listened to this, I’ve got Sittin’ on Chrome (which is great), Long Hot Summer (which is great) and a Best of Cold Chillin’ compilation. Looking forward to jumping in. JAN is obviously a jam but the rest of the album is unknown to me

love this version


hadn’t heard and really like, super pick lbs.
‘rollin’ wit umdada’ is an interesting production- screaming horn bits remind me of bomb squad and the mellow brass bits sound daisy age.


On this particular revisit I think this is my favourite track. Love the little Nice & Smooth and Cheers sample bit.


Will never get tired of either version of this track. More rappers should have offered east and west coast takes of tracks :smiley:


Glad you like it man. In general, I think Ace had a really good ear for beats. He was never exactly pushing music forward, but from his debut to A Long Hot Summer (which fit well in the scene the summer following College Dropout) his production choices were fresh and on point.

This one is a favourite too, great wordplay as well, one of those ones where you can see the influence he had on Eminem:


Another one I haven’t listened to for years. Forgotten how good it was. Ace was on an absolute tear the 90s, eh? As @furryfan says, real mix of production styles, but Ace (and his crew) hold it all together beautifully. Not anything even approaching a duff track on the whole thing.

Never got too bogged down in the ‘concept album’ thing, but he addresses quite a few home truths about rap really well without ever coming across as preachy (something that even people like Jeru weren’t always able to pull off). Remember reading an interview with him where he said he was a little uneasy about putting it out because of the flak he thought he’d get, but that the feedback he got from the rap community was totally positive. People either congratulated him, or found it hilarious. Absolute classic for sure, just a shame it wasn’t a bigger hit commercially


Pretty sure that Eminem said that this is the album that changed his life? Might have got that wrong. When listening to this again this week, did bring (early) Eminem to mind quite a bit.