Slum Village is a hip hop group from Conant Gardens, Detroit, Michigan.The group was formed by three members: rappers Baatin and T3, plus rapper and producer Jay Dee. Â Jay Dee left in 2002 to pursue a solo career with MCA Records and was replaced by Elzhi, after which Baatin also left due to health complications. The group has played a vital role in the careers of several Detroit-based Hip-hop artists, such as Frank-N-Dank, Platinum Pied Pipers, Dwele, and Black Milk. Jay Dee also became a member of the production team known as The Ummah, which produced the two last A Tribe Called Quest studio albums, as well as hits for a number of R&B and hip hop musicians.
Slum Village's first album, 1996's Fantastic, Vol. 1, was not officially released until 2005 but highly sought after in underground circles. In 1998, the group opened for another hip hop trio, the above-mentioned A Tribe Called Quest, on their farewell tour. in June 2000 they released Fantastic, Vol. 2 on GoodVibe Recordings. Also that year they released an album called Best Kept Secret, under the alias J-88, which featured remixes and leftover material from Fantastic, Vol. 1. For the 2002 release of Trinity (Past, Present and Future) on Barak/Capitol Records, T3 brought in Elzhi to join the group as Jay Dee left to focus on his solo career. The album contained the single "Tainted", produced by Karriem Riggins and featuring Dwele. Also in 2002, Dirty District, a compilation of songs by Detroit rappers largely produced by T3 and "RJ" Rice, was released.
The group then became a duo consisting of T3 and Elzhi, shortly before the release of their 2004 album, Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit). The album included the hit single, "Selfish", produced by Kanye West and featuring John Legend. The song samples a part of the intro to the hit song "Call Me" by Aretha Franklin. After parting ways with Capitol Records in 2005, they released Prequel to a Classic, a mixtape of mostly previously unreleased material, followed by a self-titled release in October of the same year. In his Slum Village years, Elzhi has released two mixtapes""Witness My Growth and Europass""and one album, The Preface, which was released on Fat Beats Records in August 2008. Future projects by Slum Village include an album made with unused J Dilla beats, and an album produced mostly by Black Milk.
T3 has said in a recent interview that Slum Village has reunited with Baatin and has added Illa J(J Dilla's Brother) to bring a Dilla effect. He is quoted "Slum Village is totally not that at all," T3 adds. "I`m incorporating Baatin, and I`m putting Illa J in""not to take Dilla`s place, but just to have that essence of Dilla on this new project. I`m pulling together all the producers that we`ve used before""Black Milk, Wajeed , Kareem Riggins, Pete Rock and all the people who have been down with SV from day one.
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