February 11, 2015

Slum Village "Press Kit" ("Fantastic, Vol.2", 1998)

"Slum Village are on the verge of releasing their debut album, "Fantastic Vol.2" into the world. The album is a supreme effort nearly three years in the making, one that christens the Detroit trio as the next generation of soulful, vintage hip-hop. The members of Slum Village have known each other since they were in their teens, having grown up in the same Conant Gardens neighborhood of Detroit. Even though they haven't put out anything beyond a handful of singles, already their peers are singing their praises. In addition to the torch passing by A Tribe Called Quest, everyone from The Roots to Common to D'Angelo have singled out Slum Village for rejuvenating passion in hip-hop music. "Simply stated, if it weren't for Slum Village, I'd quit the business and go back to college," says Questlove of The Roots. Why are there so many guardian angels looking out for a relatively anonymous trio from Motown? "That's a good ass questions," T3 admits. "I guess it's because we're musicians and...we try to make music that other musicians can respect... I think that those other artists feel what we're doing." There's also the fact that Slum Village isn't entirely anonymous; in fact, chances are you've been hearing a variation of their music - and loving it - for years. Producer Jay Dee is also a part of the production team The Ummah, and has helped concoct beats for Q-Tip (Amplified), D'Angelo (Voodoo), Common (Like Water For Chocolate), A Tribe Called Quest's last two albums, classic joints like The Pharcyde's "Runnin," "Stakes Is High" from De La Soul, and numerous remixes for artists like Brand New Heavies and Janet Jackson." Cont'd below...

"Slum Village's Fantastic Vol.2 is colored by that same old-school, soul-drenched sound that makes a Jay Dee production instantly recognizable - lush keyboard swells underneath sparse drum taps and funkdafied rhythm stabs - except this time, he's got Baatin, T3 and himself on the mic to compliment the steady-nod feeling. On Fantastic Vol.2, Slum Village reveal a vibrant palette of musical styles: there's the hypnotizing, soul minimalism of "Players" and "Get Dis Money," the post-disco bounce of "What's It All About" (with Busta Rhymes), and the irreverence and acumen of "I Don't Know," where the groups rhymes are integrated with artfully chopped up James Brown phrases. Other guests on the album include Kurupt ("Forth and Back"), Jazzy Jeff, and venerable producer Pete Rock ("Once Upon A Time"), confirmation that Slum Village are a part of that movement in hip-hop intent on being culturally grounded and true to the lineage of great black music." - Press Kit

"Sometimes our reality seems to be even better than our dreams." - Baatin