Inventive, genre-defying producer Waajeed was cut from the same cloth of Detroit's soul-driven hip-hop underground as its chief representative, Jay Dee (aka Dilla). After all, Waajeed -- born Robert O'Bryant IV in Detroit in 1975 -- and Jay Dee both grew up in Detroit's Conant Gardens neighborhood. Assuming the position as DJ, Waajeed, along with Dilla and many others, formed a crew called Senepod, but when the group slimmed down to four people around 1991, they renamed themselves Slum Village. However, Waajeed's parents disapproved of his involvement and pulled him out of the group. Although he went on to study graphic arts and design and photography at a local college, he still maintained a close relationship with the now trio. After Slum Village released their first album and rare underground classic, Fan-Tas-Tic, Vol. 1, in 1996, Slum went on tour throughout Europe and invited Waajeed to be their DJ again. Waajeed was so inspired by the experience that, when he returned, he spent countless hours (which turned into days and then months) perfecting his beat-making craft.