Slaughterhouse‘s Joell Ortiz has explained the significance of his signature phrase, “Yaowa,” which appears on a majority of the New York rapper’s songs.
According to Ortiz, the chant has many meanings.
“I got so many meanings of yaowa, it’s crazy,” Ortiz laughed. “First, it’s used as a term of endearment for dudes around my way. How you say, ‘What up?’ We say, ‘Yaowa!’ It came from my man Smash. Shout to Smash. He used to be really drunk around the way. It’s a distance between the buildings. He used to be saying, ‘Yo, what up?’ But he’d be so drunk, it sounded like he was saying, ‘Yawhuhup?’ He’d be twisted. I just turned it into yaowa. Every time I get on a beat, I say, ‘Yaowa,’ before I rap on it. Then I started playing around with it and turned it into [meaning]: ‘you’re actually one world away.’ I be feeling like my flow is not of Earth. I zone out, become an alien with it. On another freestyle, I said, ‘I’ll put you in a hospital because my flow is so sick.’ That’s ‘your ass on wild anesthetics.’ I just be spazzin’ out with the yaowa. But it’s a term of endearment around my way.” (MTV)
Ortiz also uses the chant in his everyday dialogue.
“RT@NYC_AD just walked out of the HR office we’ve got reviews being conducted I got a raise & a bonus got on the elevator SCREAMING YAOWA!”
“Just found out Im on a float for PR parade! first time I didnt get snuck on a float! Yaowahahahaha.” (Joell Ortiz’s Twitter)
The rapper recently updated fans on Slaughterhouse’s delayed Shady Records signing.
“We in the ninth inning of it, we just keep changing pitchers,” Ortiz said in an interview. “I don’t know, man — it’s a lot of hold-ups. I thought on my end I was straight, but I wasn’t. We’re going back and forth with the people I’m working with. Joe [Budden] had some issues had some issues or whatever. The interest is still there. Everybody is excited about it, it’s just a lot of people involved in this. Four artists, four separate managers, label situations — a lot of black and white that gotta get settled for it to happen, but verbally, we’re on Shady! Eminem is excited, the whole group is excited. The world is excited. I can’t even do a show without somebody asking that. Without them being, ‘You ripped it, what’s up with Em?’ Everybody is waiting on this, so it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. We got in the studio with Em already. We traded bars and stuff with all of us.” (MTV)
Group member Royce Da 5’9 has confirmed that the crew are already putting in studio time with Eminem.
Royce detailed the experience recording the song for XXL. “That day was like a regular Slaughterhouse day on steroids,” he said. “We came in there. Just Blaze was sitting there. The beat is up. The beat is retarded. Em’s vocals were already laid. His verse is ridiculous, so you could imagine the kind of pressure that we was feeling…Just being back in the same room with him…when there’s no type of issues. that’s what I always focus on more. Just the actual friendship. I’m glad we back how we was…” (XXL Mag)
Check out Joell Ortiz’s “Yaowa” chant below: