Additional personnel: J Dilla, Dirt McGirt, Dwele, John Legend, Kanye West, MC Breed, Phat Kat, Melanie Rutherford, Big Herk.
When Slum Village emerged in the 1990s, they were ostensibly a trio of Jay Dee, T3, and Baatin, However, the Detroit group quickly anounced itself a fluid collective, with members free to drop in and out. They weren't kidding, as on three major releases the group has sported different line-ups each time. DETROIT DELI finds Slum Village a duo of T3 and more recent addition Elzhi. However, all that turnover sees no drop-off in the level of the music and the discourse.
If anything, Slum Village is at the top of its game on DETROIT DELI, flying from the gritty to the smooth to the funky with the greatest of ease. The outfit also displays its usual range in topics, from delivering a tender ode to ghetto womanhood on "Old Girl/Shining Star" to boasting defiantly, as on the club banger "Keep Holding On." The crew can employ unique and almost experimental beats, as on "Dirty" (fittingly featuring Dirt McGirt) and slide into the smoothest of comfortable grooves (the sweetly sly single "Selfish"). Jay Dee returns with a flourish on "Reunion," but the band's assertion of fluidity remains true, as whatever the official membership, Slum Village consistently releases complexly beautiful records. DETROIT DELI continues that trend.
Entertainment Weekly (pp.76-7) - "DELI impresses most with production prowess....It's reminiscent of the Detroit outfit's sonically progressive debut..." - Grade: B-