Fantastic, Vol. 2 (also referred to as Fantastic Volume II) is the second album by American hip hop group Slum Village, released on June 13, 2000. During the time of its release the group was still composed of its earliest members T3, Baatin and J Dilla.
The album was initially completed in 1998 for A&M Records shortly before the label became obsolete, leaving Slum Village in limbo for over a year. During this period, however, the group’s producer Jay Dee greatly increased his profile through work with artists such as Common, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu and A Tribe Called Quest. At the same time tremendous acclaim from notables such as Questlove of The Roots and Q-Tip built up anticipation for the long-delayed LP.
Slum Village eventually found an outlet with Goodvibe Recordings & Barak Records, and released Fantastic, Vol. 2 in summer 2000. Although sales were slow (due to heavy bootlegging) the group nevertheless had a huge impact on the underground circuit and were proclaimed torch-bearers for the departing A Tribe Called Quest.
In particular Jay Dee’s much lauded production work, full of subtle grooves and soul claps, was a blueprint for the direction that neo soul would take in the coming years. The album was re-released minus the original version of “Fall-N-Love”, which was replaced by the remix due to sample clearance issues, as well as their collaboration with Common, “Thelonius” (which originally appeared on Common’s Like Water for Chocolate).
The album’s cover was designed by Waajeed (of the group Platinum Pied Pipers).
The album received highly positive reviews and acclaim upon its release. The Phoenix New Times, for example, commented that “(Jay Dee‘s) production style has been subtly influencing better-recognized producers for years” and even went as far as to claim that “Slum Village is going to single-handedly save rap music”.The group themselves have since acknowledged the impact this record had, and while they benefited greatly from it, it has also overshadowed their later, though more commercially successful work.
The twelfth track “Get Dis Money” was originally featured on the soundtrack to the 1999 Mike Judge cult film Office Space. The second track “Conant Gardens” was featured in the 2002 Frankie Muniz film Big Fat Liar as well as the 2003 Steve Martin film Cheaper by the Dozen.
The album was re-issued as Fantastic Vol 2 10 in 2010.