Slum Village Explains How Group Survived Several Lineup Changes

Slum Village

AllHipHop chatted with Slum Village’s T3 and Young RJ ahead of their new album “FUN.”

Slum Village stood out among Hip-Hop groups due to their ability to adapt to new lineups. Founding member T3 and his rap partner Young RJ reflected on the group’s evolution in an interview with AllHipHop’s Chuck Creekmur.

“We talking about 20 to 30 years,” T3 said. “That’s like a family. You gonna have some family members pass away. Situations gonna—we’re talking 30 years. That’s a long time. Most people ain’t seen the people they went to high school with. So, it’s just life. It’s a lot of life that Slum Village has lived. A lot of life. But we always had the support of our fans. So, I mean, they been holding us down, man. Or lifting us up, rather. So, shoutout to our fans.”

Slum Village already went through significant changes before the deaths of J Dilla and Baatin. The group reshuffled its membership with Elzhi and J Dilla’s younger brother Illa J in the past. T3 always remained the one consistent in the group.

Once others left, T3 kept the flag flying by recruiting the group’s longtime collaborator Young RJ to be an official member. Young RJ felt proud to carry on the Slum Village legacy in its current era.

“Dilla said, ‘Y’all got it from here,’” he recalled. “Once it got to a certain point, he said, ‘That was my mission was to get you here. 3, you got it. J, you know what to do.’ He trained us. Baatin was dealing with other things, mental things. And then some people just wasn’t appreciative of what was laid down. The reason we can hold it down in this formation is because I understand what it took to get here. I watched them until it got to a certain point. And then when Dilla left, I was there the whole time. For me, I’m appreciative of what the founding members put down. And we breaking the mold.”

Young RJ continued, “[We’re the] first Hip-Hop group to have various formations of a group and the sound stay consistent and the shows is still sold out … To hold a group together, y’all got to have a real brotherhood. This my brother, for real. I tell him all the time I’m not here without him. And as long as everybody understand they roles, you’re gonna hold a group together.”

Check out AllHipHop’s conversation with Slum Village below.