Slum Village is a hip hop group from Conant Gardens, Detroit, Michigan.
The group was formed by three members: rappers Baatin (deceased, 31 July 2009) and T3, plus rapper and producer J Dilla (deceased, 10 February 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. 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 were 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. Former member J Dilla died on February 10, 2006 after being diagnosed with TTP and Lupus.
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, Wajeed, Karriem Riggins, Pete Rock and all the people who have been down with SV from day one."
Future projects by Slum Village include an album made with unused J Dilla beats, and an album produced mostly by Black Milk.
Baatin died on July 31, 2009 at the age of 35. He was found in his home on 14000 Anglin Street in northeast Detroit.Medical examiners have said that there were no visible signs of trauma or foul play. The cause of death currently remains unknown.His death deeply affected the Detroit hip-hop scene. Villa Manifesto was released under Koch Records on July 27, 2010, featuring the late Baatin.