Legendary Stax band
24-Carat Black to have newly-discovered material issued.
1973 the Stax label issued Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth by 24-Carat
Black, and even though it was never a big commercial hit, it went on to become a
fount of sampling gold when hip-hop hit years later, with the likes of Jay-Z,
Eric B & Rakim, Digable Planets, Nas and many others tapping it for use in their
As archivist Oliver Wang, writing at the Soul Sides website,
explained in a 2004 look at the album, it “has been sampled, extensively,
but it is so much more than that. Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth is an
extraordinary soul album – so diverse in sound that you’d swear it was two or
three LPs combined into one… from the horn-filled flair of “Mother’s
Day,” to the sparse, funky kick of “Foodstamps,” to these two
beauties: the title cut and the “24 Carat Theme”…. This album
actually incorporates themes and ideas; it’s a concept album, with each song
introducing additional commentary on the state of Black life in the ghetto.
Truly, an awesome album whose greatness goes far beyond just its value to funk
album, and the band was outta there, and while funk/soul buffs long suspected a
followup had been recorded, due to a number of factors the tapes were never
released, and sat in the basement of the group’s engineer and keyboardist.
now, the good folks at Numero Group
have uncovered this slice of forgotten American soul music that has been lost
for over a quarter of a century: Gone: The Promises of Yesterday are the
last remaining songs by 24-Carat Black.
the label advises us, Ghetto: Misfortune’s
Wealth “provided a bleak worldview in contrast to many of their label
mates, or much of the world for that matter… telling tales of the grim realities
of inner-city existence.” For this new record, gone are the message-laden songs
that they were known for, but these tales of love, either professed or lost,
retain the uncannily catchy bass lines and haunting melodies that made the
group famous in the first place.”