Saturday, August 1, 2009

Detroit rapper Baatin dead at 35

Slum Village co-founder known for spiritual lyrics

By BRIAN McCOLLUM • Free Press Pop Music Writer • August 1, 2009

Titus (Baatin) Glover, the Detroit rapper who co-founded the much-acclaimed Slum Village, has died.

Many details remain unknown at this point, said Hex, the group's road manager.

Word of Baatin's passing circulated quickly this afternoon in music circles both locally and nationally, where Slum Village has long been an exalted name in underground hip-hop.

Fellow group founder James (J. Dilla) Yancey, Baatin's Pershing High School classmate, passed away in 2006.

Baatin, who turned 35 in March, had left Slum Village in 2002 amid health problems, but was reported to have returned for tracks on the group's upcoming album, "Villa Manifesto."

"He was a very spiritual brother," said Detroiter Khalid el-Hakim, founder of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum. "He brought a spirituality to Detroit hip-hop that you didn't see with other artists. That's what he was known for."