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Jalen Rose talks Detroit with T3 and Young RJ from Slum Village

Rap may have been born in New York, but it grew up in 313.

As we continue to celebrate hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, it would be a pure sin to exclude legendary Detroit band Slum Village from the conversation. This OG trio absolutely owned the late 1990s with their debut album “Fan-Tas-Tic” and the current band continues to leave their mark on music today.

The active duo, T3 and Young RJ, recently released single ‘Just Like You’ and have what is sure to be a spectacular album to come as well.

I had the pleasure of speaking with both of them on this week’s “Renaissance Man” in an episode that’s not just a walk down memory lane — but also a foreshadowing of what’s to come for hip-hop.

Like many bands, Slum Village has undergone personnel changes over the years and unfortunately lost two of its three founding members, J Dilla and Baatin.

The third of that original crew, iconic rapper T3, recalled how the group achieved meteoric success like it was just yesterday.

“I remember when J came to do one of the first gigs – because J started as a back DJ and then we moved him further up front,” T3 recalls his late friend and musician who finally took the microphone.

“Once I saw how well we fit into the show and the chemistry we had, that’s when I was like, ‘OK, you know, maybe we can make this movie stand out.'”

The T3 theory proved more than successful when Slum Village hit the studio. With the powerful influence of J Dilla, it didn’t take them long to attract major names like Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Questlove and Erykah Badu to line up for coveted recording sessions.

“It was so inspiring for us to be able to bring this back to the city,” T3 said of their many successful collaborations. “It really took us out. It took a long time for someone to come (during this time) because everything was by word of mouth. We had no outlet.

T3 (left) and Young RJ spoke to Jalen Rose about the glory days of Slum Village.
Getty Images

Doing it for Detroit was also an incredible motivation for Slum Village.

The band didn’t just examine what their leap to stardom meant for personal gain, but instead approached fame as advancing Motor City’s incredibly illustrious musical history.

“It’s a crucible. It started from Motown and just seeing the legacy they left in the city,” Young RJ said.

“Eventually, everyone was trying to find a way to do techno with all these different influences. The radio was also very different… we had no choice but to be original with the style because we had so many influences that were heard in the city.

After reflecting on their true heyday, the dynamic duo behind the modern Slum Village expressed high expectations for the next wave of up-and-coming hip-hop artists to come.

Young RJ pointed out that the genre needs “fresh new creative ideas” and T3 doubled down on their sentiment.

“My hope for a new generation is just to keep it fresh — to keep it original, to keep it guessing,” he said. “Musically, I think hip-hop is just going to grow. I’ve heard some (new) things still bubbling up…so yeah, keep creative. That is what I am saying.”

Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the iconoclastic Fab Five at the University of Michigan, which rocked the world of college basketball in the early ’90s. He played 13 seasons in the NBA before becoming a media personality. Rose produced ‘The Fab Five’ for ESPN’s ’30 for 30′ series, is the author of the bestselling book ‘Got To Give the People What They Want’, a fashion trendsetter and co -founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. , a public charter school in his hometown.

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