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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2002 | Priority Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 29, 2018 | Ne’Astra Music

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2002 | Priority Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2004 | Priority Records

When J Dilla left Slum Village after Fantastic, Vol. 2, the group wasn't predicted to flourish, let alone survive, in the aftermath. After all, J was the star producer, T3 and Baatin just a pair of old friends yet to make their name outside the 313 area code. Nevertheless, their next record, Trinity (Past, Present and Future), saw the trio actually improving in the production realm, and bolstering their rap credentials by adding local phenom Elzhi. But after another lineup change -- Baatin was booted after increasingly erratic behavior later diagnosed as schizophrenia -- prospects for Slum Village again seemed dismal. This time, though, it has to come as a lesser surprise that Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit) shows the group at the same high level. Slum's anchor, T3, wisely handed over production reins to young guns BR Gunna, one of whom (RJ Rice) had proved his mettle with tracks from Trinity and 2002's Dirty District compilation. Rice and co. constructed a parade of digital R&B jams that skillfully navigate the divide between cutting-edge headphone productions and bumping club tracks. Despite posing in front of Detroit icons from Greektown to Mexicantown and everywhere in between, T3 and Elzhi set their sights beyond the region to collaborate with Chicago's most wanted Kanye West (on a track he produced) and Wu-Tang culprit Dirt McGirt. On McGirt's feature, "Dirty," BR Gunna's production has an atmospheric sheen and high-grade handclaps that surprisingly compliment McGirt's trademark mic-spraying. Even with a couple of glitzy features, Detroit Deli spends plenty of time paying respect to Slum Village's Motown roots; old friend Dwele stops by for two tracks, labelmate Phat Kat features on the opener, "Zoom," and Flint's own MC Breed drives down for "Do You." T3 and Elzhi get more personal on the record too, fortunately without descending into maudlin territory; "Old Girl/Shining Star" endearingly calls out single mothers, and the closer, "Reunion," features a J Dilla production and a few worried rhymes about Baatin's exit. ~ John Bush
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released April 20, 2018 | Ne'Astra Music

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released September 3, 1999 | Famous Records, Corp.

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 30, 2019 | Ne'Astra Music

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2004 | Priority Records

When J Dilla left Slum Village after Fantastic, Vol. 2, the group wasn't predicted to flourish, let alone survive, in the aftermath. After all, J was the star producer, T3 and Baatin just a pair of old friends yet to make their name outside the 313 area code. Nevertheless, their next record, Trinity (Past, Present and Future), saw the trio actually improving in the production realm, and bolstering their rap credentials by adding local phenom Elzhi. But after another lineup change -- Baatin was booted after increasingly erratic behavior later diagnosed as schizophrenia -- prospects for Slum Village again seemed dismal. This time, though, it has to come as a lesser surprise that Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit) shows the group at the same high level. Slum's anchor, T3, wisely handed over production reins to young guns BR Gunna, one of whom (RJ Rice) had proved his mettle with tracks from Trinity and 2002's Dirty District compilation. Rice and co. constructed a parade of digital R&B jams that skillfully navigate the divide between cutting-edge headphone productions and bumping club tracks. Despite posing in front of Detroit icons from Greektown to Mexicantown and everywhere in between, T3 and Elzhi set their sights beyond the region to collaborate with Chicago's most wanted Kanye West (on a track he produced) and Wu-Tang culprit Dirt McGirt. On McGirt's feature, "Dirty," BR Gunna's production has an atmospheric sheen and high-grade handclaps that surprisingly compliment McGirt's trademark mic-spraying. Even with a couple of glitzy features, Detroit Deli spends plenty of time paying respect to Slum Village's Motown roots; old friend Dwele stops by for two tracks, labelmate Phat Kat features on the opener, "Zoom," and Flint's own MC Breed drives down for "Do You." T3 and Elzhi get more personal on the record too, fortunately without descending into maudlin territory; "Old Girl/Shining Star" endearingly calls out single mothers, and the closer, "Reunion," features a J Dilla production and a few worried rhymes about Baatin's exit. ~ John Bush

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released October 23, 2012 | Ne'Astra Music

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With the release of Villa Manifesto came rumors that it would be Slum Village’s final album. Following the death of Dilla in 2006, T3 stopped making music completely. After a significant mourning period, he reluctantly continued on, only to see his remaining founding partner, Baatin, a recovering schizophrenic, fall prey to the same fate during the recording of Villa Manifesto in 2009. Slum Village was put to rest with no expectations of re-forming before T3 decided that his musical brothers would want him to carry the torch. Villa Manifesto addresses the issues of death and the reasons for the group’s hiatus, which makes for an outing that delves into darker territory. However, the subjects of overcoming odds and urban plight have always been commonplace for SV -- which are almost as frequently discussed as their abilities on the microphone and in the bedroom -- and when you come from Detroit, you develop a thick skin and a quick healing factor. Elzhi and Illa J assist T3 in the catharsis and mine J. Dilla’s vaults to find some unreleased beats. Along with Dilla’s sparse but tasty, “Lock it Down” and “We’ll Show You,” the album jaunts from classic-sounding hip-hop to lush, synthesized departures filled with buttery D’Angelo-ish hooks. While the album doesn’t sound much different that Detroit Deli, or their self-titled 2005 release, producers Young RJ, and Dave West deviate from the SV norm with a two-steppin’ nod to early Prince ("Dance"), and a kazoo-tooting bassline ("Earl Flinn"). These quirkier moments balance out the heavy reminiscing in “The Reunion, Pt. 2” nicely, while guest spots by veterans De La Soul’s Posdnuos and Tribe Called Quest’s Phife make “Scheming” a standout serenade. ~ Jason Lymangrover
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released April 6, 2018 | Ne'Astra Music

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Miscellaneous - Released January 15, 2013 | Synchronization

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Miscellaneous - Released February 18, 2014 | Synchronization - Yes Yes

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 29, 2013 | Ne'Astra Music

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Miscellaneous - Released May 8, 2012 | Synchronization

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2004 | Capitol Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released October 25, 2005 | Ne'Astra Music

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released February 18, 2014 | Synchronization

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released May 8, 2012 | Synchronization

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Miscellaneous - Released January 29, 2013 | Synchronization

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 7, 2019 | Ne'Astra Music