By Rob Markman
Slaughterhouse sell-outs? Nah, can’t be. In their new video the Shady Records quartet flaunts their wealth and toasts to the good life, but then again, after all they've been through in rap’s underground, who can really blame them.
The Syndrome-directed video, which dropped Wednesday (June 20), starts off with a rather lengthy skit featuring the super-rich Eminem thumbing his nose at the poor and lowly by skeet-shooting his platinum plaques, showing off his fleet of 300 Chrysler 300s and playing whack-a-mole with real-life baby seals. It's all part of a Robin Leach-inspired opening skit called "Rappers Are Richer Than You," and in the end, Slim Shady bathes in the tears of struggling MCs and gets fed grapes by his pet tyrannosaurus rex.
It all sounds pretty farfetched, but if quality rap bars directly translated into dollars, then Royce Da 5'9", Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden and Crooked I would be the wealthiest MCs in the game. In the video, the fearsome foursome, along with Cee Lo Green on the hook, detail their rise from starving artists to being one of hip-hop's most celebrated acts.
Long Beach, California, lyrical assassin Crooked I sets things off, turning his broken-down lemon into a convertible Porsche thanks to some choice visual effects. Crook takes a joy ride as he ponders, "How does it feel to count dollar bills that I found off skills?" in the middle of his verse.
Ortiz sits on a housing-project bench reflecting on his early days as a drug dealer getting chased by the police. He goes from scaling a barbwire fence to a beach where he sips drinks with tiny umbrellas in the company of two vixens.
Budden depicts a similar come-up, starting off taking mug shots and finishing his verse posing for the paparazzi. Still, Joey proves that his recent wins haven't just brought him riches; they've also helped bring him closer to his estranged son Trey, whom he has rapped about for so many years. "What a success story, the film plays, it gets less gory/ My son didn't know who his pops was for years, now it's less Maury."
Royce caps things off, rapping about putting on for his city and earning enough so his dad could retire from his job as a U.S. postal worker. The fact is, fans have never seen Slaughterhouse smile so much, but there is no hate here: After all they've been through, Joey, Joell, Royce and Crook deserve a taste of the good life.