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Exclusive Interview: Slum Village

RnB/Hip Hop | Friday 12th February 2016 | Tom


It has been ten years since hip-hop legend J Dilla passed, and to mark this occasion I caught up with the members of his former group, 'Slum Village' Young RJ and T3 on the second night of their London show.

Dilla was a mere 32 years of age when he died, yet his legacy on hip hop and the city of Detroit has been profound.
 

RIP J Dilla

 

Tommy

Nice to meet you mate.


Young RJ

Nice to meet you bro.

Tommy
How was the show yesterday?

Young RJ
Yeah the show was dope!

Tommy

Are you looking forwards to tonight?

 

Young RJ

Ye, we back at the Brooklyn Bowl putting a new set in, we did that Dilla tribute so now we’re putting a now show on. That way we’re not giving the fans the same show.

Tommy
That’s good, what do Slum Village represent? For those who don’t know about Slum Village?

Young RJ
Slum Village represents feel-good music, we kinda set the standard for a lot of people today, and we are relentless, no matter what goes on, we’re relentless with what we do. The group changes and the fans support us, we represent triumph.

Tommy

So what was it like being a music collective in Detroit? The home of Motown.

Young RJ
Yeah it was dope, we don’t have the palm trees or skyscrapers…

Tommy
Sounds gritty.

Young RJ
Yeah! It’s gritty, making music in a place like that gave us our own identity.

Tommy
Yeah, J Dilla was one of the original members of your group and he’s hailed as one of the best producers, I’m talking ever, what was it like working with him? Did he help you improve as a group, as a collective? Or was he just another guy?

Young RJ
It was dope! Now it was dope because he actually taught me and T3 how to produce, he kinda mentored me, working with him was the same as working with any other legend, people say ‘I worked with Bob Marley or Michael Jackson’, now he’s hip-hop’s version of that.

Tommy
That level

Young RJ
Yeah same level, like Quincy Jones,  you know? Watching him work was effortless?

Tommy
How was hooking up with Cool Nutz to pay your respects to Dilla?

Young RJ
Ah yeah! Cool Nutz is our brother, we talk outside music, he’s family.

Tommy
How do you feel the mistreatment of black citizens in America has been addressed in modern day hip-hop?

Young RJ
It’s a mixture, they’re trying to address it. If they make a stance they shoot it down, it’s like fighting an uphill battle.

Tommy
What do you think about Beyonce’s SuperBowl halftime show? Do you feel performances such as these are correct to address the wrongs in the system?

Young RJ
Mmmm I think she did what she was supposed to, which was to make a statement. You see Beyonce didn’t do the normal Beyonce thing, she wanted to make a statement and she accomplished that. She got people talking!

Tommy
Marshawn Mccarrel committed suicide on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse, he was a Black Lives Matter member, what do you think of that?

Young RJ
To be honest we’ve been travelling, so I’m not correctly informed, but I can tell you it’s sad for him, to take it to that level of demonstration.

Tommy
Fellow Black Lives Matter member Deray McKesson is running for mayor of Baltimore, do you think that the system has been set up so he doesn’t have a chance of winning?

Young RJ
I feel both ways, Obama showed us we can do it, but the fact he is involved with Black Lives Matter means he probably won’t have a fair shot at winning.

Tommy
Do you feel that Obama’s had fair treatment in the media? Or do you feel like the stigma from people like Trump has led to him being marginalised?

Young RJ
Obama did his job in office, which was to revive the economy, which he did do. The time he came into office we were facing a great depression again, so he was fighting an uphill battle.

Tommy
If you could eradicate one song from the history of music what would it be?

T3
Ice, Ice Baby hahahahaha.

Tommy
What is the worst job you’ve ever done?

T3
I used to do factory work at a car company in Detroit, Michigan. Yeah it wasn’t too good.

Tommy
What is the worst thing you have a reputation for?

T3
I dont know, thats a good question! Mmm, maybe being too friendly, that gets me in trouble a lot.

Tommy
If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life what would they be?

T3
Turkey tacos, Mediterranean chicken schwarma and chocolate chip cookies. I could survive the rest of my life on those three things!

Tommy
Something you would do before you die that you haven’t done yet?

T3
Jump!

Tommy
Haha. What is your message to the world?

T3
I would tell them don’t believe what you read in the social media today, Tommy, you know what I’m saying!

Tommy
Yeah I know

Tommy
What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?

T3
I wanna work more, drop a single album and touring!

Tommy
A few days ago was the anniversary of Dillas death, what are your thoughts on that?

T3
I’m happy we can keep the legacy going, I’m happy about that. Its blossoming, we’re teaching people and showing people the work he put in before he passed.

Tommy
Will there be anyone like Dilla again?

T3
I’m sure, there will be… somewhere...


 

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