UK Hip Hop: Artists & Discographies
Slum Village
Slum Village @ The House Of Blues

Mode 2's Daft Punk cover
Slum Village - Fantastic Vol. 1For such a big city, things have been relatively quiet in Detroit since 1991, when MC Breed and the DFC first announced that there would be "No-Future-In-Frontin". In 1999 Detroit turned it around and was making big ripples with the likes of Eminem and Kid Rock, but there is a whole scene with a whole spectrum of acts who have been putting it down for years and almost at the other end of that spectrum is Slum Village.

The much-lauded trio out of Detroit, Slum Village are often referred to in the media to as "the next Tribe," following Quest's splitting in 1988. Slum Village also opened for ATCQ on what turned out to be their farewell tour, and former Tribe member Q - Tip made a guest appearance on the 'Hold Tight' track off Slum Village's debut LP. The connection doesn't end there though. Slum Village do have a relaxed and jazz influenced sound littered with classic samples, thumping bass and thoroughly soulful grooves.

Slum Village started practicing in their rooms around 1989, but really cut their teeth performing at open mike nights around 1992 before graduating to small clubs and gaining local respect. They originally signed with A&M, but were dropped during the fall out of the 1999 merger of Universal and Polygram. Later they secured a deal with indie label Goodvibe Recordings and are now distributed via Wordplay/Source in the UK who have added a new bonus track to the album. In the long in between period their then unreleased LP found its way into the hands of unscrupulous bootleggers who ripped the record off in a series of different white labels making it one of the most widely booted records of the year, but maybe this was engineered by the band to gain publicity and a deal. On the other hand it could simply be fans frustrated with the likelihood of this record never being pressed up. But most likely it was probably a combination of both reasons mixed in with criminal exploitation.

Slum Village - Fantastic Vol. 1The main producer / MC is Jay Dee, who is also well known for his work during the mid '90s with A Tribe Called Quest, as part of the Ummah production crew which includes: Q-Tip, Rafael Saadiq and Tribe's Ali Shaheed Muhammed. Although he is only in his mid twenties he has been prolific and has a also worked with a long list of big names like De La Soul, The Pharcyde, Keith Murray, Goodie Mobb, N'Dea Davenport, Common and even Shaquille O'Neal, amongst others. He has definitely got the golden touch and has even has two number one singles in the US: Mariah Carey's 'Honey' and Janet Jackson's ' Got Til Its Gone'.

For Slum Village Jay Dee follows similar production values to those utilised for Tribe and so on this project he creates smooth, soulful tracks. On the lyrics he is joined by high school friends T3 and Baatin who kick melliflous flows that effortlessly ride the beat. Jay Dee has a sort of stuttery raping style, whereas T3 comes rugged and Baatin is slicker. Their debut is entitled ' Fantastic, Vol. 2' (strangely there was no Volume One) and is a full 20 tracks deep including the forthcoming single 'I Don't Know'. Also found guesting on the LP are stars such as Busta - 'What It's All About', Kurupt - 'Forth And Back' and Soul Brother Pete Rock - 'Once Upon A Time', as well as D'Angelo who collaborates on the ballad 'Tell Me'.

However all three of the group's members are talented writers and composers. Having finished their record, Slum Village are now slated to produce remixes for The Roots, Mary J Blige and Mariah.

Way To Blue



Slum Village News

  • Slum Village have been confirmed as late additions to Jam in the Park on June 17th 2001.
  • The Chicago crew will be playing in the Rawkus tent at the Finsbury Park event. Their set will last for between 45 mins and an hour.
  • Slum Village are releasing new single Raise It Up on July 16th.
  • Raise it Up is a hardcore analogue driven beat track which has proved to be a crowd favourite at live gigs.
  • The track features a Daft Punk sample (check our the b-side to Thomas Bangalter's Trax On The Rock part 2)

Slum Village have remixed a track for Daft Punk after "borrowing" a sample for their new single Raise It Up. 

The Chicago Crew half inched the sample from a bootleg album in New York assuming it was from some obscure techno producer who'd never notice. 

But Daft Punk's Thomas and guy saw the Raise It Up video on MTV and immediately clocked the sample. 

Rather than demanding royalties though Daft Punk were honoured to be sampled by Slum Village and instead asked that the hip hop crew remixed one of their tracks. 

The result is a reworking of Aerodynamic which will be made available as a 1,200 limited edition picture disk, of which only 200 are destined for the UK. 

Raise It Up itself was released through Wordplay on July 16 and is the prelude to a forthcoming album which has a planned October release. 

A hardcore analogue beat driven track it has proved to be a crowd favourite at their live gigs - as seen most recently when Slum Village played the Rawkus tent at Jam in the Park. 

Raise It Up was one of the killer tracks taken from their much-bootlegged album Fantastic Vol 11 and will be backed with a brand new Jay Dee remix of Fall N Love. 

Jay Dee's slick and deep production values provide the perfect foundation for T3 and Baatin to express themselves. 

This set up is a blueprint for the future as Jay Dee will no longer be adding his lyrical flavours to future Slum Village songs. 

Instead he will be concentrating his efforts on the musical production side of the act. T3 and Baatin will be fronting the band when they play live. 

Raise It Up was released through Wordplay on July 16th. 

Train spotting fact: 

The sample that was borrowed can be found on the b-side of Thomas Bangalter's On The Rock part 2. 


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