Few groups in Hip Hop have a more traumatic decade than Slum Village. The pioneering Detroit Hip Hop collective has undergone numerous personnel changes, label moves, and more importantly, the deep loss of its founding members in J Dilla and Baatin.
Now signed with E1 Entertainment for the forthcoming full-length release of Villa Manifesto, the group’s remaining founding member, T3 has announced that this will be SV’s last release. “Oh yeah. One more thing…this is the last Slum Village Album,” T3 (@T3SV) wrote on Twitter late last night. The statement came after a number of artists and managers within the Michigan Hip Hop community were speaking to the group’s future and legacy.
T3’s present partner, Elzhi, who has been with Slum Village since 2002’s Trinity: Past, Present and Future album, said yesterday afternoon on Twitter (@Elzhi), “Not sure what’s going on….I hope Slum Village’s label and T3’s manager respect what I do for [Slum Village]. Either way I appreciate yall support.”
Neither SV member nor management has spoken publicly since. After last year’s Villa Manifesto EP, this release will be the duo’s first release since 2005’s championed self-titled album, released on Barak Records.
July’s full-length release features a number of musical contributions from the late Dilla, as well as appearances from De La Soul, Phife Dawg and Colin Munroe. (June 30)
UPDATE: In a new interview with Billboard, T3 clarified Slum Village’s status. “If this album does phenomenal and the supporters just overwhelm me, I wouldn’t have a choice but to do another record — and I believe this record could be phenomenal for us,” said T3.
Additionally, the group’s co-founder revealed that Baatin, who had reunited with the group prior to his 2009 death, worked on nearly 20 songs recorded for Villa Manifesto. That, coupled with unreleased production and vocals from J Dilla makes the E1 Records release the first time a Slum Village album has all four members on it.
Read the full Billboard interview, where T3 talks specifics of the album’s sound and contributions, here.