Ghetto misfortune’s wealth

If you’re as fanatical about soulful music as me, in particular from the 70’s, then there’s certain albums you unquestionably need to have in your collection and this weeks an absolute masterpiece thatr may have escaped your attention.

Artist: The 24 carat black
Album: Ghetto:Misfortune’s wealth
Genre: Soul/Funk
Label: Stax
Year: 1973

‘Ghetto:Misfortune’s wealth’ is a concept album by the 9 piece Cincinnati, Ohio soul/funk group 24 carat back.This 1973 Stax release was the bands only recorded album and was produced and arranged was by Dale Warren, who was also behind the classic works of Isaac Hayes such as ‘Hot buttered soul’ and ‘To be continued’ as well as many other successful artists on Stax and Motown records.Warren did work on other material with the band but it was never released until almost four decades later on the reissue label, Numero Group.

This cleverly thought out album highlights the hardships of life in the poverty stricken ghetto’s of the inner city, the album is divided into eight “synopses” each of which focuses on a different aspect of poverty.
The hauntingly soulful orchestrations set the perfect ambience that embraces the powerfully truthful lyrics and the almost operatic vocal melodies that drift over their gripping compositions make tracks like ‘Poverty’s Paradise’ and ‘Mothers day’ hit even harder.A few of these tracks have been heavily sampled already and Hip Hop heads will recognize the title track Ghetto misfortune’s wealth’ from the 1990 Eric B & Rakim track ‘In the ghetto’, while Dr Dre flipped the same sample for Nas on ‘Nas is coming’ and K Rob flipped ‘Mothers day’ for Jay Z on ‘Can I live pt 2’., with that said, this in my opinion as a lifelong fan and student of hip hop and soul music, really is the kind of rare gem that pops up now and again that you absolutely must listen to and appreciate before you even think about sampling.Many socially conscious groups like these of the time didn’t ever achieve major success, or probably never even make it out of these hardships themselves but still their musical testaments of hope & awareness were as vital then as they are today with regard to understanding and overcoming oppressive situations through knowledge, experience and wisdom.

These wise words of Grandmaster Caz come to mind “Hip hop didn’t invent anything, but hip hop reinvented everything”

Overall rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ 10/10
Sample potential: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ 10/10


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