The Ghetto (Donny Hathaway song)
"The Ghetto" is a socially conscious, mostly instrumental jazz-flavored anthem, released as the first single off American soul singer Donny Hathaway's debut album, Everything Is Everything, released as a single in 1969 on Atlantic Records.
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|Single by Donny Hathaway|
|from the album Everything Is Everything|
|A-side||"The Ghetto, Pt. 1"|
|B-side||"The Ghetto, Pt. 2"|
|Songwriter(s)||Donny Hathaway & Leroy Hutson|
|Producer(s)||Donny Hathaway & Ric Powell|
|Donny Hathaway singles chronology|
The song was co-written by Hathaway and Leroy Hutson. The song was a 6 minute and 50 second extravaganza which built upon a cinematic feel with its lengthy instrumental though it did feature vocal ad-libs from Hathaway, who played Wurlitzer electronic piano on the song, and constant chants of the song's title. The song has a distinctive Afro-Cuban sound with congas.
The song also featured additional background dialogue from what sounds like men talking on a street corner and a baby crying - that baby being Hathaway's own daughter Lalah before Hathaway ended the song with frenetic hand claps.
The song was also featured on Hathaway's revered Live album in which Hathaway and his musicians played a faster version of the song and later featured Hathaway getting the audience to sing the final chorus. The song was also used in the 1977 film Short Eyes.
Co-writer Leroy Hutson recorded a version of the song entitled "The Ghetto '74" for his album The Man! (1973). Since then, the song has been covered in hip-hop singles, most famously, Too Short's "The Ghetto", which featured Gerald Levert re-singing the chorus.