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1 January, 2002@12:00 am

Working as an appetizer to SV’s upcoming three-course meal Trinity: Past, Present, and Future, the trio that helped put the D on the map delivers “a Sequence mixtape session”, spotlighting several up & coming acts from Detroit’s Dirty District.

The main difference people will notice about this disc (besides the fact that’s it’s not actually a full-length SV release), is that the original earthy sound that Jay Dee provided to the group is not here. However, the beats on this album do reflect the choppy, minimalist sound found on more recent Jay Dee excursions, such as those found on Welcome To Detroit, despite the fact that Dilla didn’t produce a single one of them. Again employing a host of virtually all unknowns, this album almost acts as an unofficial sequel to Dilla’s solo outing, thanks to it’s uniform sound that is unmistakably Slum Village, Jay Dee or not.

The Dirty District is on a different astral plane than Fantastic Vol. 2, but one that still runs concurrent. The trademark fraternal chanting of the Vil’s intro lets you know that this album is in fact “dirty” like the title says, and that’s what gives it it’s flavor. Whether it’s the unpolished and unrehearsed lyrics, the grimy production, or even the cassette like sound quality of the entire mix, the essence of the Dirty D is captured here, more so than on any D12 album.

The tracks aren’t that incredibly well mixed together, but this sloppiness is sort of what gives the album its charm and character. The remix to Slum’s “One” outshines the original 12″ mix, which continues into Que. D’s “Shut Shit Down” that moves on nicely like dustier version of “Da Rockwilder”. Show-stealer Elzhi gets loose with Mu on the chopped-groove “Me And Mu”, and also puts up his lyrical dukes with La Pearce for a freestyle session. And B. Flatt and Fuzz (yes, from the Slim Shady EP) keep heads in perpetual motion on “H.E.A.T.”, while Ten Speed and Brown Slice do the same on “Real Live”.

The album does have it’s faults - it is rudely interrupted with both Twin Gambino / Alchemist’s “Big Twinz” and 3582′s “Yesterday”, which are two great cuts, but have no business on this disc whatsoever. And, every once in a while, even the beats can’t save some of these guys from striking out, as Phat Kat does on both the repetitive “V.I.P. In”, or the silly thug rap “Cock Suckers”. Meanwhile, Raw aka Therow has to work on his Jay-Z flow a little more before The Roc will sign him, and Fuzz invades the listener’s personal space a little with his “Big Fellas” chain-swang.

But make no mistake - Slum Village listeners should already know that we don’t listen to their albums for the lyrics, but instead the vibe that they capture in their music, and again, the vibe captured here is best summed up in the title. With the exception of new SV member Elzhi, nobody here is that impressive as a stand-alone solo artist, but Dirty District surprisingly holds-up pretty well, thanks to the cohesive sound of Detroit that it creates.

  Mixtape D.L.
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