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date: 15 May 2021

Ghettotech and ghetto houselocked

  • Gavin Mueller


American styles of popular music created from hybrids of hip hop, particularly Miami bass , and the local electronic dance music scenes of Detroit techno and Chicago house. As Miami bass crested in popularity, its party friendly bass frequencies and explicit lyrics increasingly appeared in DJ sets. House DJs in Chicago soon began producing their own tracks for these sets, based on the hallmark four-on-the-floor disco beat. Their tracks consisted of little more than house samples and raps or chanted hooks over beats programmed from the Roland TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines; this style became known as ghetto house. The Dance Mania record label began releasing ghetto house as early as 1992 and became a hub for such artists as DJ Funk, Paul Johnson, and DJ Deeon.

Similar experiments by DJ Assault, Mr. De,’ and DJ Godfather had shown up in Detroit productions by the mid-1990s, bolstered by supportive local radio and the city’s extensive network of strip clubs. These productions drew upon the syncopated funk rhythms and prominent synthesizers found in Detroit techno. Sexually explicit lyrics, previously an irregular feature, became a standard in ghetto-style productions after the worldwide success of DJ Assault’s “Ass and Titties” (...

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