The circumstances of his death remain unknown, associates said this afternoon. Baatin’s body was found this morning in the 14000 block of Anglin Street and is at the Wayne County medical examiner’s office, said family friend Ty Townson.
Funeral arrangements are not yet set. Friends and family members will gather for a public remembrance at 8 p.m. Sunday at Elements Gallery, 2125 Michigan Avenue in Detroit. Baatin, who turned 35 in March, left Slum Village in 2002, later telling the Free Press he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He continued to record and play occasional solo dates before returning to the Slum fold for the group’s upcoming album, “Villa Manifesto,” due Sept. 22.
He was with the group for its gig at June’s Rock the Bells Tour stop at DTE Energy Music Theatre, and last week performed in a video shoot for Slum’s new single, “Cloud 9.”
“This is just very shocking,” said friend Biba Adams. “We were all hoping this would be the return of the original group.” “Baatin will be missed,” Slum Village’s T3 told the Free Press in a statement. “I’m glad we got a chance to work together before he passed. We lost another Slum soldier, a dear friend and a brother. He touched many lives.”
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.