Eminem/Slaughterhouse Deal Was 'A Long Time Coming,' Joell Ortiz Says

'We're four solo artists first, so the deal took longer than we expected,' he tells MTV News.

According to Joell Ortiz, one-fourth of the Slaughterhouse crew, the collective took so long to close their deal with Eminem because he, Joe Budden, Royce Da 5'9" and Crooked I operate as solo artists.

"It's been a long time coming," Ortiz said of the Shady Records deal. "We're four solo artists first, so the deal took longer than we expected. We had to get contracts and things in order and things of that nature. But I believe it's been in the works for a little over a year, and it finally came to life a few weeks back, and everybody is excited, including Eminem. And we're looking forward to a powerhouse year in 2011."

Last month, Slaughterhouse finally announced their signing, after news of the union had been in the air for over a year. The deal was made public via XXL. The four MCs graced the magazine's cover with solo upstart rapper Yelawolf, who also joined Team Shady. Em christened the signings as the start of a new regime.

"Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse, it's kinda phase two of Shady," Eminem explained in a statement. "It's the new generation of Shady Records, and as we're trying to rebuild our label, it's exciting for hip-hop, and with all of these forces coming together and with what everybody's capable of on the mic, it's gonna be fun."

In a radio interview shortly after the news broke, Crooked I commented on his new deal with Slaughterhouse, saying the underground group gets a larger platform by affiliating with Eminem.

"I look at it like, for hip-hop on a whole, to have four dudes come together and represent different regions and represent hip-hop to the fullest, and get a deal to where we could travel into the mainstream and take our music to a bigger stage, I think it's good for hip-hop," he said.

What do you think of the Slaughterhouse/Shady deal? Let us know in the comments!