Trinity (Past, Present and Future)

Slum Village

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Trinity (Past, Present and Future) Review

by John Bush

With a young, new rapper (Elzhi) taking the place of a mostly departed producer and mentor (Jay Dee), it'd be easy to expect a letdown from the second full Slum Village LP. Despite a bloated track listing and a mostly overblown concept, though, Trinity (Past, Present and Future) is an excellent statement from one of the most mature groups in the rap underground. Yes, Jay Dee's three productions are among the best of the lot, though the others -- quite a few of them by Slum Village's own T3 and one each from the Roots' Scott Storch and Hi Tek -- both recall and push forward Jay Dee's blueprint for point-perfect groove. The single "Tainted" is one of the best on tap here, while the laid-back dancefloor anthem "Disco" finds Slum Village so ambitious they plan on getting played in barbershopes and beauty salons as well as the clubs. Twenty-three tracks, though, are just too much to try and wrap your head around, and the theatrical concept is a touch too far. (Each track relates either to the past, present, or the future; "Star" concerns the present, while "Hoes" and "Insane" apparently represent the future of the group.)

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