Slum Village Taps Larry June And The Dramatics For New Single ‘Just Like You’
Slum Village’s influence in the underground Hip-Hop world and beyond is undeniable. And while the group’s lineup experienced significant changes over the course of nearly three decades, the Slum Village legacy has continued on the backs of OG member T3 and rapper/producer Young RJ. As the longest standing iteration of the group, their output consists of two mixtapes (2012’s Dirty Slums and 2013’s Dirty Slums 2), and two lauded albums between the years of 2013 and the second half of 2015 (Evolution and Yes!, respectively). Save for 2016’s Vol. 0— which contains early demo recordings from the group’s original trio of Baatin, J Dilla, and T3 –the current duo’s output has been reduced to mostly solo projects and individual features as of late.
Today (4/28/2023) sees those tides begin to change with the release of Slum Village’s new single “Just Like You”. Available on all major digital streaming platforms via Ne’Astra Music/Ingrooves, the smooth tune serves as the lead single from T3 and Young RJ’s first album together in over seven years, and arrives on the final leg of their Fall In Love Tour in Europe. Produced by Young RJ, “Just Like You” features a guest verse from the Bay Area’s Larry June, and vocals from old school Detroit Soul ensemble The Dramatics. It’s the perfect groove for the advent of the warmer seasons, and retains the classic Slum Village feel.
“Just Like You” arrives on the heels of Slum Village’s guest feature on Larry June‘s “Orange Village”, a standout from his new collaborative album with The Alchemist, The Great Escape. Slum Village’s forthcoming album is slated for release in August.
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Detroit’s legendary Rap group Slum Village was founded by three childhood friends: Baatin, T3, and rapper/producer Jay Dee (aka.J Dilla). The trio debuted in the early ’90s as Ssenepod (Dopeness spelled backwards), later changing their name to Slum Village for the release of their debut, Fantastic, Vol. 1, in 1996. Originally released on cassette, demo recordings for the project began in 1991 between Dilla’s basement and RJ Rice Studios. Slum Village soon began forging a path into the Detroit underground Hip-Hop scene and quickly gained popularity, landing them with local label Barak Records by 1998. Backed by the underground imprint, Slum Village released their seminal 2000 album Fantastic Vol. 2. J Dilla left the group soon after to pursue his solo career, but still remained involved, helping his protege Young RJ with production.
While Fantastic Vol. 2 was a significant breakthrough for the group, it wasn’t until Barak and Capital Records teamed to issue Slum Village’s highest-charting album to date with Trinity (Past, Present and Future) in 2002 that the group saw mainstream success. With the absence of Dilla and the addition of rapper Elzhi as an official group member, the album’s first commercial hit was the Dwele-assisted “Tainted”. This was followed by the group’s second commercial smash “Selfish” (featuring Kanye West and John Legend), from their 2004 album Detroit Deli, which peaked on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2004.
Young RJ continued to co-produce and engineer much of the group’s transitional work, even through the tragic passing of Dilla and Baatin. After 2010’s Villa Manifesto, Slum Village officially became a duo comprised of original member T3 and Grammy-nominated rapper/producer Young RJ. The two remaining members reinforced Slum Village’s legacy with two critically-acclaimed albums, Evolution (2013) and Yes! (2015), and have continued to carry the torch for 12 years.