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Slum Village's T3 recalls meeting J Dilla in high school: "He didn’t say no words"

A photo of rapper T3.
T3 of Slum Village. (Instagram)

Slum Village's T3 has given fans of J Dilla a rare insight as to what the legendary producer was like as a youngster.

T3, one of the three original members of Slum Village alongside Dilla and Baatin, spoke to The Source during an event celebrating Dilla's life and legacy in Los Angeles on Saturday.

He told the magazine that Dilla, who passed away in 2006, was an "introvert" when they first met.

"I had to hear about him when a friend said, 'This guy got crazy beats!'" T3 recalled. "We went to the house, we checked it out and the beats was insane. It was dope, and he was so quiet. He didn’t say no words."

T3 also remembered being amused by Dilla's fashion sense at the time.

"He was really really skinny," he said. "I was skinny too, we was all skinny at the same time. But he used to wear layers of different clothes. He didn’t want to be skinny. He used to wear these layers and layers of clothes."

T3, Dilla, and Baatin, who himself died in 2009, all attended Pershing High School in Detroit, Michigan.

It was there that they formed Slum Village.

Today, the group are widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential in hip-hop history thanks to their combination of T3 and Baatin's intricate rhymes and Dilla's soul-infused beats.

Speaking with The Source, T3 told the story of the night the group came together.

"We had this big thing in my grandma’s basement where we invited all the dopest rappers, DJs, MCs," he said. "We figured out me, him, and Baatin, we was the best."

T3 said that after that night, he, Dilla, and Baatin went to the "cheapest studio" available and immediately got to work.

"We started recording joints, that’s when we knew we had something," he said.


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