Tribute Sundayz – The Legendary Slum Village

Slum Village

Origin – Detroit, Michigan,
United States
Genres – Hip hop
Years active – 1996–present
Labels – Barak/Capitol
Illa J
Young RJ
Past members – J Dilla (deceased)
Baatin (deceased)
Slum Village is a hip hop group from Conant Gardens, Detroit, Michigan.

The group was formed by three members: rappers Baatin (d. 31 July 2009) and T3, plus rapper and producer J Dilla (1974–2006). J Dilla left in 2002 to pursue a solo career with MCA Records. Elzhi joined in his absence, after which Baatin also left due to health complications.

J Dilla era

Baatin, T3, and J Dilla grew up together in the Conant Gardens neighborhood of Detroit and attended Pershing High School. The group steadily became popular in Detroit’s underground hip hop scene. J Dilla 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.

Originally signed to the now defunct A&M record label, the group was forced to postpone the release of their official debut album due to label politics, but 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.

Baatin era

Titus Glover (March 8, 1974–July 31, 2009), also known as Baatin, was an American rapper who emerged from the mid-1990s underground hip hop scene in Detroit, Michigan part of the rap group Slum Village.[1]

Baatin got his start on the mic in 1986. In the early ’90s, he befriended the now deceased rapper Proof (of D12), and would accompany him to hip-hop nights at Stanley’s Café and 1515 Broadway. In 1991, Baatin’s hip-hop group, Ssenepod (dopeness spelled backward), changed its name to Slum Village, which at the time, was made up of J Dilla, Baatin and T3. It was then that Glover first christened himself Scandalous-T.

He remained as an active member of the group until the early 2000s. In 2002, shortly after the release of the group’s third album, Baatin began to experience health problems, which interfered with the group’s music and touring performances. In regard to his health problems, he said:

“The confusion started verbally. I would be angry and lash out and go crazy. I was like: Do I got demons? I couldn’t control it. It was a learning experience. They said I have depression, schizophrenia with bipolar tendencies. It was bipolar when I was responding to 12 different impulses. I didn’t hurt nobody.[2]”
He soon went to the hospital and a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Following this, he was no longer part of the group. He stated that he was “kicked out while in hospital”, receiving a termination letter that was signed by both T3 and Elzhi, while in the hospital. He also held the group’s label responsible. In several interviews he stated:

“When we got off the tour with Floetry and India.Arie, I was dealing with a lot of mental issues… Not enough rest… Jet lag. I underwent physical ailment. I came home and said I wasn’t gonna do it no more. When I tried to seek some attention, they took it like I was leaving the group. I was in a coma for a day. When I came out my coma, all my stuff was out of my condo. I lost all my cars, lost everything. And I got a termination letter from the group. Me leaving the group was because of no support from the indie company, the same reason J Dilla left. Clearly, part of that is the label’s fault. Sometimes, electives that are put in charge over you can come up with ways to divide you. In my opinion, I was never respected. I never had a say.[3]”
After leaving the group, he began recording as a solo artist. During this period, he went by the name “Baatin the Slumlord.”[4] In 2008, the dispute was resolved and Baatin reunited with T3 and Elzhi, and worked on the group’s sixth album Villa Manifesto.

Elzhi era

For the 2002 release of Trinity (Past, Present and Future) on Barak/Capitol Records, T3 brought in Elzhi to join the group as J Dilla left to focus on his solo career. The album was a moderate success and 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, when Baatin became sick touring in France shortly before the release of their 2004 album, Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit) and departed to seek treatment[citation needed]. 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.

Former member J Dilla died on February 10, 2006 after being diagnosed with TTP and Lupus.[5]

T3 has said in an 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, Waajeed, Karriem Riggins, Pete Rock and all the people who have been down with SV from day one.”[6]

Future projects by Slum Village include an album made with unused J Dilla beats,[7] and an album produced mostly by Black Milk.[8]

Baatin died on July 31, 2009 at the age of 35. He was found in his home on 14000 Anglin Street in northeast Detroit.[9] Medical examiners have said that there were no visible signs of trauma or foul play.[10] The cause of death currently remains unknown.[11] His death deeply affected the Detroit hip-hop scene.[11]

In July 2010, Elzhi claimed he was removed from the group, by the “poison” of Slum Village, RJ Rice.[12]

Villa Manifesto was released under Koch Records on July 27, 2010, featuring Baatin.

In recent interviews, T3 stated that he had not talked to Elzhi since he departed the group.[13]

Solo work

After his leaving the group c. 2000, J Dilla had a successful solo career before his death in 2006.

Elzhi has released four mixtapes: Witness My Growth, Europass, The Leftovers: Unmixed tape and Elmatic and one album, The Preface, which was released on Fat Beats Records in August 2008. A demo tape with Dwele titled The Breakfast Club has also circulated.

Baatin’s album Titus: Chapter 10, Verse 13 was to be released on the label Operation Unknown but has not yet seen official released.

T3 released a mixtape in 2006 titled Olio.

J Dilla’s brother, Illa J, released an album titled Yancey Boys for Delicious Vinyl in 2008.

Collaborated with Robert Strauss on track ‘Girl’ in 2007 released on Robert’s Album ‘Mr Feelings’ (BBE)


Studio Albums

YearAlbumPeak chart positions
1999Fantastic, Vol. 2
Released: June 13, 1999
Label: GoodVibe
Format: CD, digital download
2002Trinity (Past, Present and Future)
Released: August 13, 2002
Label: Barak, Capitol Records
Format: CD, digital download
2004Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit)
Released: June 29, 2004
Label: Capitol Records
Format: CD, digital download
2005Fan-Tas-Tic (Vol. 1)
Released: 2005
Label: Counterflow
Format: CD, digital download
Slum Village
Released: October 25, 2005
Label: Barak Records
Format: CD, digital download
2010Villa Manifesto
Released: July 27, 2010
Label: E1 Records
Format: CD, digital download
Released: June 25, 2013
Label: Ne’Astra Music
Format: CD, digital download

List of mixtapes, with year released
TitleAlbum details
Dirty Slums
(with Mick Boogie)
Released: March 27, 2012[14]
Label: Synchronization
Format: Digital download
Dirty Slums 2
(with Mick Boogie)
Released: January 29, 2013[15]
Label: Synchronization
Format: Digital download

2009Villa Manifesto EP
Released: December 15, 2009
Label: Barak
Format: CD, digital download

YearAlbumPeak chart positions
2000Best Kept Secret (under the alias as J-88)
Released: July 31, 2000
Label: Groove Attack
Format: CD, digital download
2002Dirty District
Released: 2002
Label: Sequence Records
Format: CD, digital download
2005Prequel to a Classic
Released: 2005
Label: Barak Records
Format: CD, digital download

YearSongChart positionsAlbum
1999″Get Dis Money”———Fantastic, Vol. 2
“Raise It Up”———
2002″Tainted” (featuring Dwele)873120Trinity (Past, Present and Future)
2004″Selfish” (featuring Kanye West and John Legend)552015Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit)
“Do You”———
2005″EZ Up”———Slum Village
2009″Dope Man”———Villa Manifesto EP
“Cloud 9″———
“Actin’ Normal”———
2010″Faster” (featuring Colin Munroe)———Villa Manifesto

2000: “One-4-Teen (Funky For You)” (from the Bahamadia album BB Queen)
2000: “Thelonius” (from the Common album Like Water for Chocolate)
2001: “LTAH” (from the Hi-Tek album Hi-Teknology)
2003: “Wolves” (from the Phat Kat album The Undeniable LP)
2004: “Da Villa” (from the Pete Rock album Soul Survivor II)
2004: “Aerodynamic (Slum Village Remix)” (from the Daft Punk Album Daft Club)
2005: “Keep On” (from the Dwele album Some Kinda…)
2006: “Time Has Come” (from the Exile album Dirty Science)
2007: “Cuz I’m Jazzy” (from the Guru album Jazzmatazz, Vol. 4)
2007: “Action” (from the Black Milk album Popular Demand)
2007: “Gangsta Boogie” (from the Pete Rock album NY’s Finest)
2007: “Got Me Goin’ (Hip Hop)” (from the Statik Selektah album Spell My Name Right: The Album)
2008: “Brandy” (from the Dwele album Sketches of a Man)
2008: “To Be Determined” (from the Evidence album The Layover EP)
2008: “Get Live” (from the DJ Wich album The Golden Touch)
2010: “How I Deal” (from the Dwele album W.ants W.orld W.omen)
2013: “Cash Flow” (by Havoc)

Red Everything Movement


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