Slum Village’s eLZhi Calls Manager RJ Rice ‘Poison’
According to eLZhi, RJ Rice, the founder of Slum Village's longtime label, Barak Records, masterminded the group's split, out of jealousy after he hired a new manager.
"RJ Rice is the poison in Slum Village," eLZhi told HipHopDX. "He's the one that is steering Slum Village down this direction that everybody is not feeling - just because he's not being a legitimate, genuine businessman."
While elZHi outright blames RJ Rice for breaking up the group, he also claims Slum's manager, Tim Maynor, was similarly culpable.
"When word got out that I was working with Jae Barber, who is my new management, Tim Maynor [and] RJ Rice, they both just flipped they wigs, to the point where Tim Maynor just was on some real disrespectful s--t," eLZhi explained. "So I'm like, man, 'Why is he taking it to this level? And why is RJ Rice taking it to this level?' In my opinion, or how I was thinking, was that they know the capabilities of Jae Barber, and they know they paperwork is sloppy."
eLZhi continued to explain that RJ Rice actually no longer even runs Slum Village's label and the group is currently signed to his son, Young RJ's Ne'Astra Music Group, via E1.
"On the surface Ne'Astra Music Group is RJ Rice's son's label," eLZhi explained. "Cause see the thing is, Barak Records, which is owned by RJ Rice, he filed for bankruptcy on that label...But, RJ Rice is still acting like he runs Ne'Astra Music. So if anybody's talking about business, they're talking to RJ Rice, they're not talking to [his son and Slum Village producer] Young RJ."
As for whether Slum Village, which now only includes rapper T3, can continue to record, eLZhi seemed doubtful.
"In my opinion it's a wrap," he said. "And I feel like RJ Rice single-handedly dismantled a legacy and something that meant something in the hip-hop community amongst the real listeners and people who love the art-form of soulful music. It's just a sad day for me, man. Because, if it was up to me, I'd still be rocking shows... T3 woulda been a more genuine kinda guy, right now we woulda been doing shows supporting this 'Villa Manifesto' album...with me on all the records... But since it's not up to me, and we living in reality, it's f--ked up... I feel like Slum Village made an incredible contribution to Hip Hop. And the people that really respect Slum Village are people that's really respectable, like Dr. Dre, Snoop, Pharoahe, Phonte, Pharrell, the list goes on. So, it's really a sad day for me, man."
eLZhi is currently working on his second solo album, 'The Feed,' which will likely feature production by Madlib, Khrysis and 9th Wonder.
Slum Village's 'Villa Manifesto' is in stores now.