Slum Village co-founder Baatin passes away

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It seems like Slum Village, one of the most influential rap groups of the past decade, is marked by tragedy. Titus “Baatin” Glover passed away on Saturday, August 1 from mysterious causes. He was 35 years old. (A medical autopsy is pending.) His death comes three years after the demise of co-founder James “J Dilla” Yancey.

With his trademark turban, piercingly ruddy voice and sinewy demeanor, Baatin exemplified Slum Village’s contradictions more than any other member. On their classic Fantastic Vol. 2, he espoused spirituality and a holistic lifestyle, yet celebrated urban hedonism on record, predating subsequent Muslim thug rappers like Freeway and the Jacka.

After J Dilla left amicably for a solo career, T3 and Baatin added Elzhi to the group and landed a hit single, “Tainted,” from Trinity (Past, Present and Future). Shortly after that, Baatin went AWOL as he suffered from crack addiction and mental illness. (He would be diagnosed with schizophrenia.) Slum Village, now just Elzhi  & T3, distanced themselves from Baatin — “Reunion,” the final track on SV’s 2004 album Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit), was considered a “wake up call” to him.

In recent years, Baatin cleaned himself up, and he rejoined T3 and Elzhi for their Rock the Bells dates this year. The trio was set to issue a new album, Villa Manifesto, in September on Barak Records. Sadly, it will now commemorate two fallen soldiers in the SV family instead of just one.

Rest in peace.

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One Response to Slum Village co-founder Baatin passes away

  1. Billy J says:

    This was real shocking to find out. I saw him on the Rock The Bells tour on July 18th and he was arguably the most entertaining of the 4 on stage that day (Pete Rock was DJing). Fan-Tas-Tic Vol 1 & 2 stay in my rotation so Baatin was an artist whose music I really appreciated. Baatin was definitely was of the more underrated MCs in my eyes. There will never be a delivery like his ever again.

    “Maybe it was Titus who paved the way.
    Maybe it was Titus who came to save the day.
    Maybe you like me, maybe you don’t. I don’t give a fuck.
    Probably was my crew that made you Raise It Up”

    RIP Baatin, start working on some new bangers with Dilla for us

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