Slaughterhouse combine the talents of Joe Budden, Royce da 5'9", Joell Ortiz and Crooked I. All four have struggled in the music industry for years, weathering bad record deals and beefs with other rappers but enjoying considerable underground support. Their parallel paths made them an obvious choice to work together. When they collaborated on "Slaughterhouse" from Budden's 2008 mixtape, Halfway House, the quartet was inspired to form a supergroup. (A fifth emcee on the "Slaughterhouse" track, Nino Bless, chose to drop out of the project.) The group immediately became a sensation among rap fans, and the four rappers rushed into the studio, cranking out a full-length in a few months to capitalize on the buzz. Although the result, Slaughterhouse, sounded rushed, with lots of extended freestyles over perfunctory beats, it debuted high in the album charts when major-indie E1 Music released it in summer 2009. A shocked and impressed music industry immediately began courting Slaughterhouse with bigger recording deals, with Shady Records (run by Royce's old partner, Eminem) the winner.

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