Chances are, if you are anywhere near the Detroit music scene, you’ve heard of the influential hip hop trio that makes up Slum Village. The group was founded in the early 90’s by 3 childhood friends: Baatin, T3, rapper and producer J Dilla, who all grew up together in the Conant Gardens neighborhood of Detroit, MI. After leaving Pershing High School, the trio began to forge a path into the Detroit underground hip hop scene and quickly found themselves steadily gaining popularity, where they originally went by the name Ssenepod.
In 1991 the group changed their name to Slum Village recording their first album “Vol. 1”, in Dilla’s basement and RJ Rice Studios, it was critically acclaimed in the Detroit underground scene, later finding its way into the hands of A Tribe Called Quest’s own Q-Tip, who played it for some of hip hop’s elite, such as Busta Rhymes, Questlove, and D’angelo.
Slum Village landed their first record deal in 1998 with Barak/AM records. Due to label politics, the group was forced to release their album “Best Kept Secret” under the alias J-88. Their now classic record, “Fantastic, Vol. 2” was not officially released until 2000 through Barak Records, dubbed an immediate classic from fans and industry tastemakers. This album featured an A list line up including Busta Rhymes, Common, D’angelo, Jazzy Jeff, Pete Rock, Kurupt, and Q-Tip who passed the torch to Slum Village on the record “Hold Tight”.
In 2001, J Dilla made the decision to leave the group to pursue his solo career, but still hung around helping Young RJ with production. Baatin and T3 started work on their next album “Trinity” through Barak/Capital Records, featuring Elzhi on 6 of the tracks. This album would feature their first commercial single “Tainted” which ft an unknown Dwele, also “Disco” the remix produced by Timberland.