Slum Village is Having “F.U.N.” Again After 8 Years (Album Review)

Slum Village is a duo from Detroit, Michigan now consisting of T3 & Young RJ. Originally a trio with the late J Dilla & Baatin, their debut Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1 was bootlegged in the summer of 1997 only to be revamped & re-conceived on Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 2 only 3 years later. Dilla left the group a year later to pursue a solo career & eLZhi filled in for him in the midst of them signing to Capitol Records for their next 2 albums Trinity (Past, Present & Future) & Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit). Following their eponymous full-length, Dilla & Baatin both passed away prompting RJ & even Dilla’s younger brother Illa J to join for what was set to be their final offering Villa Manifesto. What really ended up happening though was eLZhi leaving the group due to what he said was a falling out with Young RJ & interestingly, Illa J followed suit after Evolution & Yes!. After almost a decade though, T3 & RJ are getting back together for their 9th studio LP.

“Welcome” by Brittney Carter is this atmospheric opener with hi-hats provided by none other than Young RJ welcoming y’all to a name that you heard about & never had the guts to touch whereas “All Live” picks up from there with a funky ass instrumental so SV can get the party started. “All Live 2” by Phat Kat works in some pianos talking about calling him Ronnie S. Truman since he be buyin’ ‘em all first that is until “To the Disco” takes a groovier route to the beat continuing to settin’ it off & describing themselves as warlords.

Moving forward, “Yeah Yeah” co-produced with Karriem Riggins brings back the funk a bit so the duo can talk about being the foundation & for everyone else to get in line leading into “Just Like You” featuring Larry June works in more disco influences instrumentally so all 3 MCs tell their significant others that they wanna be with them. The rhythmic title track boasting that the Detroit cats are at it again, but then “Request” groovily talks about giving what they need.

Cordae joins Slum Village on the mellow “So Superb” making way for everyone to boast their superiority while “Keep Dreaming” featuring Fat Ray is this funky/boom bap crossover telling everyone to open their minds & realizing they’re still dreaming. The penultimate track “Factor” soulfully talks about factoring in all the good times to spend just before “Since 92” ends the album with kicks, snares & pianos from Robert Glasper reminding that they’ve been putting it down for over 3 decades.

Putting in the perspective that it’s been 8 whole long years since we last heard Slum Village together in a full-length capacity, I figured something had to be coming down the pipe sooner than later when they teased us with the singles & even performed at a halftime show during a Detroit Pistons game during this past season even though they didn’t play the best by any means. Needless to say: It’s like they never took a break. They seem very happy to be back in the lab keeping their signature sound alive occasionally joined by a couple of their homies in the D & co-signing some new blood.

Score: 7/10

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Legends Will Never Die

Just a 27 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

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