Though some have deemed Shady Records directly responsible for the downfall of Slaughterhouse, it's impossible to deny that the lyrical supergroup delivered more than a few gems during their time signed to Eminem's label. One such highlight came courtesy of SHADYXV, a compilation project released exactly six years ago to this day, boasting cuts from the label's lineup of Em, Slaughterhouse, and Yelawolf. It's no coincidence that the album's standout track found all three entities coming together, leading to the sinister and hard-hitting "Psychopath Killer."
Backed by Boi-1da's darkest beat yet, the newly Grammy-nominated Royce Da 5'9" sets things off with a compelling verse lined with disturbing imagery and effortless flexes. "It's like I'm General Hong, and I'm standin' in front of a gun," he raps, catching a pocket with clinical precision. "I'm puttin' myself in the way of a bullet to pull rank / The hood is over my eyes but the wool ain't." KXNG Crooked picks up where he left off with a meticulously constructed verse, and though his verse is the shortest, the relentless barrage of bar-after-bar is enough to leave a lasting impression.
Closing things out is Eminem, who attacks his gargantuan verse with an unconventional and feral flow scheme, firing off zany references and allusions to his previous works. "It's like stars have aligned all in alliance, Heart of a lion, balls of Goliath," he raps, stacking each bar onto the next. "Obscene talk intertwined like a beanstalk and a vine / But I keep walkin' the line between the wrong and the right."
Six years later, it's interesting to revisit SHADYXV and examine the compilation in hindsight. Do you look back fondly on this era? And if so, where do you rank "Psychopath Killer" in the respective catalogs of Slaughterhouse and Slim Shady?
I'm havin' nightmares of leavin' behind my dreams
With anything less than a full bank
It's like I'm General Hong, and I'm standin' in front of a gun
I'm puttin' myself in the way of a bullet to pull rank
The hood is over my eyes but the wool ain't
Yeah, got the mentality of bein' with a wizard
Every award show, we don't even get considered
How do you sell somethin' that's so lyrical
To a kid who wouldn't know what was hittin' if it hit him?