The contributions of the late Detroit producer James DeWitt Yancey –better known to the world as J Dilla- to the world of hip-hop can't be overstated, and nowhere is his legacy more apparent than his work as a member of Slum Village. A founding member of the trio, (Alongside rappers T3 and Baatin) Dilla provided the group's distinctly esoteric, free-wheeling sound, built around winding basslines, quirky drumbeats, subtle low-end frequencies, and classic jazz & soul samples. Against the backdrop of Dilla's rich production, T3 and Baatin's free-flowing style of rhyming would also earn wide critical praise, leading to comparisons as the successors to A Tribe Called Quest. (A label they themselves have rejected.)
It's on Slum Village's 1997 studio debut, Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1, that all these elements come together in the most proficient manner. An instant hit among Detroit's under-ground hip-hop scene, the album seemed to combine all the best elements of the reigning alternative and gangsta styles of hip-hop into one cohesive style that was a hit among critics. Fan-Tas-Tic's influence extended far beyond Detroit, as its sound heavily influenced the sounds of D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, and The Roots just to name a few. Questlove has even declared that: "Hands down this album birthed the neo-soul movement."
A1. Fantastic | A2. Keep It On (This Beat) | A3. I Don't Know | A4. How We Bullshit | A5. Fat Cat Song (feat. Phat Kat) | A6. The Look Of Love
B1. Estimate | B2. Hoc N Pucky | B3. Beej N Dem | B4. Pregnant | B5. Forth & Back | B6. Fantastic 2 (Interlude) | B7. Fantastic 3 (Interlude)
C1. Keep It On | C2. 5 Ela (Remix) | C3. Give This Nigga | C4. Players | C5. Look Of Love (Remix) | C6. Pregnant (Remix)
D1. Things U Do (Remix) | D2. Fat Cat (Remix) | D3. Fantastic 4 (Interlude) | D4. What's Love Got To Do With It (Look Of Love Remix) | D5. 2 You 4 You