The progressive hip-hop of Slum Village may use familiar elements (James Brown samples, simple, funky bass and drum samples, tag-team rapping, scratching interludes) as its building blocks, but the group's real talent lies in its ability to transform the commonplace into something new and striking.It's refreshing to hear a hip-hop group that doesn't fall into either the misogynistic, violence-promoting gangsta world, or the self-conscious, self-righteous tendencies of the more politically correct rap acts. It's even more impressive to hear it pull off a coup like this one.
Slum Village is concerned with the same subjects that have occupied pop artists for decades; love, sex, cars, and neighborhood pride. The band delivers its tales with minimum attitude and much unexaggerated skill. FANTASTIC VOL 2 features a star-studded guest list, including Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, and even retro-R&Bking D'Angelo, who all add their talents to the mix. Ultimately, though, it's the distinctive, funky Slum Village soundthat reels the listener in.