(Editor's Note: This was supposed to be the start of a regular column from hexmurda, a staple of the Detroit Hip-Hop scene. However, the death of Baatin of Slum Village preempted the column and hex has written a column about his fallen comrade. It was originally titled "F**K THIS RAP S**T, I'LL LISTEN TO CLASSICAL.")
We're born dying.
That's a fact.
When we say "Hello" to the world the seconds are ticking to when we say "Goodbye." Everybody's got a secret expiration date. More often than not, it seems that date comes a little sooner than it should for a lot of people.
We can't live forever...or can we?
This s**t was supposed to be my intro into the wonderful world of internet s**t-talking. I was going to say a whole lot of f**ked up s**t & be the best thing since Bol, the worst thing since Pitchfork. Unfortunately, this aint that. This is baptism by fire.
Detroit lost another one, man. Baatin. From Slum Village. Titus Glover.
As of the time I'm writing this,n***as don't know what happened.
Details are sketchy, preliminary findings...all that bulls**t. But at the end,it all equals one thing. GONE.
A lot of you cats reading this might not even know or give a f**k who Baatin is. Well guess what? This is MY muthaf**kin' column and I DO give a f**k.
You don't like it,you can stop reading right now and stick f**king knitting needles in your eyes, or go back to updating your profile on gay.com for all I care. I'll get to Drake's ACL, some f**king idiot judge deciding Kelis' milkshake is worth over 40k a month, and Stephon Marbury wilding the f**k out another time. This one's for the HomeTeam, n***a.
Baatin was a special dude. Yeah,I know.
When a n***a dies,everybody says how "special" they were, and how they were "one of a kind" and all that other condescending s**t. Well,in this case, it's true. Baatin WAS a different type of cat. Brilliant guy, maybe even too smart for his own good. Talked different, dressed different,THOUGHT different.
When Slum Village got a track from Scott Storch for their "TRINITY" LP, this n***a Baatin decided to spit his verse in HEBREW. Name of the joint is "GET LIVE," the track is insane. I don't speak a word of Hebrew unless "Shalom" counts, and trust me, Baatin was going IN. I don't know what the f**k he was saying, he could have been saying, "Hex you f**king a**hole I'm gonna kill your whole family", or whatever, but the s**t was ILL.
When this n***a was rhyming, he didn't HAVE to rhyme. And for some f**king reason it worked. He said s**t the way he felt it needed to be said, with none of the constraints other MC's impose on themselves.
When I decided to write this s**t, I thought to myself, "f**k, do I have to give a damn history of Slum Village? Do I have to school these n***as about FANTASTIC:VOL.II? Hip cats to the Hip-Hop Shop and The Rhythm Kitchen? Do I have to re-open this f**king Dilla scab again? Pour Lawry's into this Proof wound? Do I have to re-live this s**t AGAIN?"
I'm living in the moment.
Besides, if you don't know who the f**k SlumVillage or J.Dilla is then you don't need to be reading some s**t called "AllHipHop" anyway. You should be at an intersection holding a sign that says "I A DUMM MUFUKA, PLEEZ CILL ME."
n***as who know about SV know that Baatin hasn't been in the group since the "TRINITY" album. He was sick. He needed help. Serious help. Listen to eLZhi's verse on "REUNION" off of SV's DETROIT DELI for details. I'm not going to rehash that s**t here. We would see Baatin around Detroit at various HipHop functions/events, and some times he was in better shape than others. No matter his condition, he was always kind, always aware of who and where he was, even if he wasn't always THERE, if you get my drift. I've got three instances to show you what kind of person Baatin was.
1. I was on the road with Slum Village, I think it was '06.
We were doin' the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Dilla tribute gig. T3,eLZhi, DJ Dez, Phat Kat, Me,Tim Maynor (Slum's mgr), PeteRock, Kino, Bilal, O-Love(Baatin's mgr) and Baatin.
Montreux Jazz Festival. That's some prestigious s**t right there. At The MDH. MILES DAVIS HALL. You see the name,ya'll know what time it is.
Any-f**king-way, show starts,PhatKat rocks his set, (I'll never forget him saying, "IT'S DILLA ALL NIGHT! DILLA ALL NIGHT!"),Baatin does his solo thing with O-Love on the wheels, and brings Slum out. The n***as hadn't done shows together in years,Baatin didn't know the set,but they pulled the s**t off. Baatin wasn't supposed to be drinking because of his medication, but that n***a got a bottle of wine from some-goddamn-where and mashed it after the set. Pete Rock was the headliner, spinning that REAL Hip-Hop s**t, me and Baatin standing on the side of the stage,listening to Pete KILL IT.Suddenly,this n***a Baatin just runs out on stage and starts Earl-Flynning (if you don't know what the Earl Flynn is, that's too f**king bad. But trust me, it's GANGSTA.) in front of the crowd. I go get the n***a, lead him off stage. Pete's lookin' at us kinda crazy, but whuteva. I turn my back, this muthaf**a Baatin throws the f**k up everywhere, then runs BACK out on stage. I retrieved that n***a again, and asked him what the f**k was wrong with him. He just grinned at meand said, "IT'S THE MUSIC."
It's the music.
The f**king music.
2. I was in Seattle for Red Bull BigTune with Black Milk and Elzhi,headed to the bank with my n***as Jake One & J.Moore when my phone rang. Normally I don't answer calls I don't know,especially not 313 area codes,because it's usually a n***a who wants something for free. f**k that.
Anyway, I answer and it's Baatin. n***a starts talking to me about Universal records & the universe itself & a bunch of other nonsensical (to me) s**t,but it's my mans, so I'm listening. Me and J.Moore go into the bank, I tell Baatin I'll hit him back. J.Moore's looking at me crazy because he could tell by my responses I was having a weird convo. When I get back to the car, I tell Black Milk,"Yo,Teezy's crazy ass just called me talking about Universal records or some s**t." Black goes, "N***a called me too."
3. The last time I saw Baatin was at a clusterf**k in L.A. called "The Breaks." Some real amateur bulls**t. He was with Slum Village, I was with Black Milk and Guilty Simpson. Bunch of acts, n***as not gettin' paid, security about to body the promoter, Psycho Realm fans about to riot, the promoter slithering out the back, sheriff's in riot gear, that type of s**t. When we realized we weren't going to get paid, n***as prepared to go back to the hotel, (which is another story in itself) and to Bishop Lamont's gig and H.O.B. Any n***a that knows me or Tim Maynor knows we ain't gonna have our clients do s**t for free. We were all like "f**k it." We got the deposit, free money let's bounce.
Baatin said, "Man,we're here. We got fans here. Let's just do it, give them a show." We all looked at him like he had a toaster for a head, and he returned our looks like we were wearing lampshades.
That n***a still wanted to do the show.
For the fans.
I'm not gonna keep going,because I'm not in the best f**king mood and there's a bowl of Ramen noodles in the kitchen with my f**king name on it (like a dog's bowl-"FIDO"-style). N***as who knew Baatin know that he had demons, just like we all have demons. I think Baatin just had a few more than us because he was touched by angels, and the demons didn't like that s**t. In the coming days, I'm sure a bunch of s**t will be revealed & a bunch of s**t written that may not paint the most flattering portrait of Baatin. Everybody's got a dark side,it's part of what makes us human.
When your time has come and you look back on your life and all the good deeds and evil deeds you've done,most people can only hope that it evens out, and that people remember that you were even here. Musicians and actors have an advantage,their music and films can stand the test of time. I can hear Baatin's voice any f**king time I feel like it and that thought almost made me smile.
That brings me back to a question I posed early in this run on sentence I call a column.
Can we live forever?
Pop in FANTASTIC:VOL II and you tell me.
We'll miss you,my n***a.
Tell Dilla & Proof we said "Whutupdoe."
Detroit weeps again.
Titus"BAATIN" GloverMarch 8, 1974 - August 1, 2009
Slum Village - "Tainted"
Slum Village - "Fall In Love"
Slum Village - "Get Live"
Slum Village - "Reunion"