By Rob Markman
New York, NY-- There was a packed house at New York City's Best Buy Theatre, but when Slaughterhouse took the stage on Thursday night there was a notable vacancy. Two songs into Slaughterhouse's set the quartet revealed that Jersey City rapper Joe Budden wouldn't take part in the night's festivities because he was arrested for a warrant stemming from a 2007 traffic violation.
Just a few minutes after 10 p.m. Joell Ortiz opened the show when he took the stage reciting his verse to the group's fan-favorite "The Illest." Long Beach, California MC Crooked I followed, but there was a visible absence. The DJ cued up "Sound Off" next and Royce da 5'9" marched out spewing his patented Detroit venom, but with three quarters of the Slaughterhouse machine on stage, Joe Budden's absence was glaring. It was then that Slaughterhouse announced their outspoken bandmate had been arrested by the NYPD.
In full support, the crowd began to shout "Joey, Joey, Joey," without any prompting from Joell, Crook or Nickel Nine.
The group then went into a portion of their infamous 2011 B.E.T. Hip-Hop Award Show cypher. Joell spit his verse and then went into his solo underground gem "Hip-Hop." Budden was missed, but the now-three-headed lyrical Shady Records monster carried on.
There was no "Pump It Up" or Mood Muzik verses, but Budden's band of brothers still repped performing their solo hits as well as posse cuts like "Microphone" and "Hammer Dance."
That didn't stop the crowd from chanting for Joe Budden. "We love Joey too, chanting for him ain't gonna get him outta jail," Royce responded.