SLUM VILLAGE'S BAATIN, R.I.P.

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We were saddned to hear the news that Baatin (born Titus Glover), co-founder of the Detroit superstar rap trio Slum Village, was found dead on the 14000 block of Anglin Street in Detroit this Saturday morning, August 1st. The cause of death is still unknown and the Detroit Police expressed that in a statement. The rapper -- who founded Slum Village with T3 and the late J Dilla -- had admitted in interviews over the years that he suffered from schizophrenia and other emotional problems. It led him to leaving the group in 2003, but he recently rejoined a new version of Slum Village and the group has been touring this summer with the Rock The Bells hip hop tour, the season's biggest rap festival, performing at DTE Music Theatre earlier this summer. Manifesto Villa, a new album by the group -- which now also includes Elzhi, who replaced Dilla, before his lupus-related death in 2006 (it was Dilla who'd requested that Baatin be invited back into the fold) -- is officially set for release on September 22nd.

The Detroit native adopted the name Baatin in the '90s after he had found a new spirituality, claiming in interviews that "Baatin" was "Islamic for 'hidden.'" He was still a high school student when he began rapping and formed Slum Village. It wasn't long after that the band began peforming at the now legendary Hip-Hop Shop on Detroit's East Side, performing alongside another aspiring rap star who'd adopted the stage name of Eminem.

"Baatin will be missed," T3 said in a press statement. "I'm glad we got a chance to work together before he passed. We lost another Slum soldier, a dear friend and a brother. He touched many lives."

Baatin is survived by his son, Michael Majesty Ellis, age 9; his daughter, Aura Grace Glover, age 1; his parents, Howard and Alberta Glover; his sister, Eleanor Glover; and two brothers, Richard Riggins and Wendell Scott, all of Detroit. Our condolences to his family.

A memorial fund to help with burial and funeral expenses has been set up at: http://rensoul.com/2009/08/baatindonations.php

Baatin: R.I.P.

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