Slum Village Biography

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Originating from the Conant Gardens section of Detroit, Michigan, USA, the rap outfit Slum Village first came together during the mid-90s. The group originally comprised rhymers Muhammed Baatin and T-3, plus producer J Dilla aka Jay Dee (James Yancey, 7 February 1974, USA, d. 10 February 2006, Los Angeles, California, USA). The latter had previously worked with Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest, and De La Soul. The trio issued several independent singles before a demo entitled Fantastic, Vol. 1, began circulating in the rap underground, making fans out of established hip-hop artists such as Q-Tip, D’Angelo, and Black Star, and most importantly, securing the crew a recording contract with the indie label, Goodvibe/Barak. In 1999, Slum Village’s debut, Fantastic, Vol. 2, which included guest appearances by D’Angelo, Busta Rhymes, Pete Rock, and Jazzy Jeff was released. Slum Village’s second effort, 2002’s Trinity: Past, Present And Future, was their first to be distributed through major label Capitol Records, while the line-up expanded to include another Detroit rapper, Elzhi. In addition to Jay Dee producing several tracks, other notable producers worked on the album, including DJ Hi-Tek, Scott Storch, Young RJ Ne’Astra, Black Milk, Waajid, and Karriem Riggins. The third Slum Village album Detroit Deli (A Taste Of Detroit) was recorded by T-3 and Elzhi following the departure of Baatin, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. T-3 and Elzhi subsequently left Capitol and recorded their new album for home label, Barak Records.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.