T3′s Stamp of Approval
Late last week, rumors were confirmed via Twitter that the lyrical monster eLZhi would no longer be a part of the legendary hip hop group Slum Village. The rumors had been circulating for a couple weeks, but their affirmation made real something SlumVill fans everywhere could only hope wasn’t true. The group endured two particularly harrowing tragedies, losing two of their three founding members (master-producer J Dilla in 2006, then spiritually-gifted emcee Baatin last year). The lone founding member of the group, T3, seems just to be just that: alone. Accusations emerged from several different camps that T3 had handled the business around the most recent Slum Village album, Villa Manifesto, in a shady fashion.
These managerial mishaps are nothing new for SV. In 2003, just a year into eLZhi’s tenure with the group, Baatin stepped away to handle a mental health issue and lapsed briefly into a coma. Upon waking up he found out he’d been completely terminated from the group. Allegations of misdoing in that case were leveled mostly at Barak Records (SV’s home), but in 2010 they’re aimed squarely at the surviving third of the original Slum Village triumvir: T3. Elzhi’s claims that he personally was cut out of much of Villa Manifesto (and the subsequent video) aren’t even the most extreme. Detroit emcee Phat Kat, a longtime collaborator with Dilla, SV and many of Detroit’s best hip hop artists, called T3 during his interview on the Motor City’s 98WJLB and declared that T3 “single-handedly dismantled the whole group.” We got a chance to catch up with the homie T3, and in addition to touching all the musical topics we could conjure, he delved into the politics of his relationship with eLZhi and the future (or lack thereof) of Slum Village.
Dizzy: How do you feel about Elzhi right now? You guys have your differences, is he fam in that same way?
T3: You know what, I support Elzhi. What happens is this: he had issues with the label. Okay, I get that El, I’m not mad at that. And I’m still not mad at El, because you gotta handle your business. But my situation with the label is different, because you know I was signed before him. We have different situations. It is what it is, I just don’t like anybody discrediting the legacy of Slum Village. I’m not saying that El was doing that, what I’m saying is that’s when I have to say something. But as far as me supporting El, I support all of his stuff. I don’t get into the drama, and that’s why you don’t see me responding to El. You know El this and that, nah I’m not getting into that. Because at the end of the day, me and El could end up doing something else down the line. And not only that, I feel like El paid his dues with Slum Village, he was there for 8 years, and he paid his dues. He is always gonna be a part of Slum Village. There is no Slum Village without Elzhi. It is what it is, I just think there are too many people around both circles. And that just happens in business, I just don’t like the fact that it’s out in the open. It’s cool to have beef, or have situations you need to rectify, but I don’t put my business out in the open, I don’t think it’s necessary.
Dizzy: That’s a very last resort for me. If it can’t be resolved in a discreet way, then you might just have to air it out, just to you know… it’s like the President going public; he can’t get shit done with Congress so he goes directly to the people.
Hit the skip for the audio and full transcript.
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