Baatin, a Detroit rapper and member of Detroit rap collective Slum Village, has died. Tim Maynor, tour manager for Slum Village, confirmed his death in an e-mail to MLive.
Maynor did not comment any further, only saying his death is “too fresh right now.”
News of Baatin’s death spread virally around noon Saturday. A cause of death is not known.
Baatin, born Titus Glover in 1974, said he started rapping while a student at Pershing High School on Detroit’s east side.
“I was going by Eazy-T and Scandalous-T back then; it was me, Al Nuke and a few others,” Baatin told the Metro Times in a 2007 interview.
Baatin, Jay Dee — who died in 2006 of complications from lupus — and T3 formed a group and called themselves Ssenepod. In 1991, they changed their name to Slum Village. Baatin also changed his stage name.
“When I got spiritual, I wanted a different name,” he said. “(Baatin) is Islamic for ‘hidden.’ “
Slum Village underwent several lineup changes over the years. The original trio released “Fantastic, Vol. 1″ and “Fantastic, Vol. 2.” Jay Dee (also known as J Dilla) left the group and was replaced with Elzhi. That trio scored one of their bigger mainstream hits, “Tainted,” which also featured Detroit native singer Dwele.
Baatin told the Metro Times that he struggled with several emotional problems. He left a European tour in 2003 to rest, but later asked to be released from the group.
Slum Village, now a duo, continued to perform. During a show at the State Theatre in Detroit, Baatin demanded to be on stage. He was arrested and jailed; after that, he was evicted from his apartment that he says was being paid for by his record label.
In 2004, Baatin was diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression; he later developed a crack habit, living homeless for more than a year.
A European promoter offered Baatin a chance to revitalize his career with some shows overseas. Baatin accepted, cleaned up and began work on a solo album.