First things first, neither of these have ever been pressed to disc, vinyl, or cassette. Anybody selling a copy of them is selling you an unsanctioned bootleg. DO NOT pay for these until they are being sold through a reliable seller. Currently, the only way to listen to them all legally is through the TIDAL app/site.
These two albums are perhaps most interesting for what they represented in Prince's career: a goodbye to the hypersexual, foul-mouthed Prince of yore. Lyrically, they would be among Prince's last ultra-forward seduction songs. The period that these twenty songs were recorded during, late '90's to 2003, was a quagmire for Prince. And I mean that in the Dubbya sense of the word. There was so much going on that it was a confusing period of time to explain in a digestible fashion. Here are the highlights.
Early in 2000, the album Peace by the NPG (though in reality, Prince) was briefly talked about. The three known tracks from that project (though not necessarily on the final tracklist), "Peace," "2045: Radical Man," and "Northside," all ended up on The Slaughterhouse. "Peace" and "2045: Radical Man" were pressed as a single sold exclusively at shows in 2001.
In May of 2000, Prince got his name back. No longer would the media be able to trivialize him for the O(+> glyph, some even referring to him simply as "Squiggle".
He had also been experimenting with selling music on the internet for years, beating everyone to the punch - even iTunes. In January of 2001, the NPG Music Club (his fifth such site) opened it's virtual doors and gave subscribers access to a wealth unreleased studio and live songs and videos. All of these songs, as you might guess from the album subtitles, were released through the NPG Music Club in some fashion before being compiled into these two records (which is why the business of 2000 matters so much to a release from four years later).
Prince remarried. His charitable giving, which has always been there, was no longer advertised - partly due to his new found religion, but partly because he just wanted that anonymity.
Prince had fallen into a trap of announcing albums that never came out. A lot. In all from 1996 - 2003, at least 17 projects were announced or talked about publicly only to never see the light of day. Of these, only 2001's A Celebration made sense in why it was abandoned [cliff's notes version: it was an album of rerecorded songs from the early days. Learning this, the Brothers Warner beat him to the punch with the one greatest hits compilation you should avoid, The Very Best Of Prince. Prince cancelled his planned summer/fall tour and shelved the album just to make sure he wasn't even remotely seen as promoting the 2001 WB release.]
The Chocolate Invasion:
Trax from the NPG Music Club Volume One
NOTE: I have the original NPGMC version, that is the configuration i will be talking about.
The Chocolate Invasion is a solid and coherent R&B album, infusing elements of many other related genres in that effortless Prince way. Far less commercially accessible than Musicology, it was originally the centerpiece of a 7 album collection slated for release in late 2003. The official story was that an issue arose with the manufacturing of the set, causing it to be put on hold indefinitely. Six of the seven discs received a release in some fashion (mostly digital): The Chocolate Invasion, The Slaughterhouse, the live C-NOTE, One Night Alone..., the instrumental Xpectation, and The War (originally released as a download in 1998).
Trax from the NPG Music Club Volume 2
The Slaughterhouse is more like a playlist of random songs that have little to do with each other than a well-thought out record. Feeling more like an attempt at Crystal Ball Volume 2, which was one of the 17 shelved projects mentioned at the beginning, the songs collected here feel interchangeable. It isn't until the last four tracks that any sense of unity occurs. That isn't to say the music here isn't worthwhile, this album just lives up to the 'Trax from the NPG Music Club' subtitle better. Curiously, there is not one sex-tinged song in the mix. They all have substance, but are otherwise unrelated.