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Ghetto Chilldren
Ghetto Chilldren

Origin

Seattle, Washington, United States

Genre

Hip hop

Years active

1991-1998

Label

Tribal Music Inc., Geffen

Past members

Ghetto Chilldren was an American hip hop group from Seattle, Washington. The group's most well-known line-up consisted of rapper B-Self and rapper/producer/DJ Vitamin D. Capabilities and Culture Born were also members of the group early in its history, but both left before Ghetto Chilldren released any material commercially.[1]

The group was formed at Garfield High School in 1991 by classmates B-Self and Vitamin D. The latter created the label Tribal Music Inc. a few years later, and it was on this label that the group released most of their material. In 1994, the group signed to Geffen Records, and worked with production team and labelmates The Dust Brothers. Feeling disgruntled with being forced to use production from outside sources, the duo left the label and recorded the songs "I'm an MC" and "Elevation" in response, which both deal with acceptance and odes to longevity. Ghetto Chilldren made several appearances on the Tribal compilation albums Untranslated Prescriptions in 1995 and Do the Math in 1996. They contributed one song, "Court's in Session", to the Loosegrove Records compilation 14 Fathoms Deep in 1997. Ghetto Chilldren's last released song was "Hip Hop Was?", featured on the 1998 compilation album Classic Elements

Vitamin D's production gave the group a jazzy and smooth feel, while their intelligent and conscious lyrics dealt with everyday topics. While the group never received national recognition, Ghetto Chilldren are pioneers in the Seattle hip hop scene. Although B-Self never recorded any solo material outside of the group, Vitamin D became a well-respected producer and engineer for other artists. 

BiographyEdit

Ghetto Chilldren was formed at Seattle's James A. Garfield High School in 1991 by Derrick "Vitamin D" Brown and William "B-Self" Rider. The group later expanded to include Dan "Capabilities" Turner and Parish "Culture Born" Cockett. Vitamin D served as the group's producer and engineer, and their early material was recorded in his mother's basement using a dub machine. Ghetto Chilldren had an alternative aesthetic in their lyrics, and rapped about topics other than those typical of West Coast hip hop. B-Self stated in a 1993 interview, "A lot of people in hip hop try to be the hardest. They come with a lot of anguish. And that may be real. But why bring those vibes to tape?". The group had many of their live performances at the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center.

The music industry of Seattle in the early 1990s was completely dominated commercially by alternative rock and grunge music, so the city's hip hop scene was overshadowed. Most Seattle hip hop artists who were making music around this time resulted to releasing their music independently due to a lack of interest from major labels, so Ghetto Chilldren released the majority of their material through Tribal Music Inc., a label founded and spearheaded by Vitamin D.

In 1993/1994, the group released a cassette-only four song demo entitled Monologs & Soliloquys. The demo attracted the interest of Geffen Records, who subsequently signed Ghetto Chilldren (now a trio consisting of Vitamin D, B-Self and Culture Born) to its label. While at the label, Ghetto Chilldren were forced to work with producers and labelmates The Dust Brothers, but refused because they wanted to use Vitamin D's production work instead. Ghetto Chilldren left Geffen without releasing any material.

Ghetto Chilldren had become a duo consisting of Vitamin D and B-Self by the time that Tribal put out its first compilation album, Untranslated Prescriptions, in 1995. The album featured three songs by the group: "I Wanna Win" featuring Truth, "Elevation" and "I'm an MC". The latter song in particular makes several mentions to the group's dealings with Geffen, with B-Self rapping in his verse: "We recorded demonstrations for A&Rs / Perplexed about ghetto situations / And they paid a couple thou', but hella times I been to Cal / In the smog and traffic, just cramp my style".

The following year, Tribal Music Inc. put out a second compilation album, the famed and highly sought after Do the Math. Ghetto Chilldren once again had three songs on the album: "Who's Listening", "N's Don't L" and "Equilibrium".

In 1997, the duo contributed to the Seattle hip hop compilation album 14 Fathoms Deep, on the song "Court's in Session". Vitamin D also produced two songs, "All Up in My Mix" and "Continuations", on the album for fellow Tribal artists Narcotik and Union of Opposites respectively. Ghetto Chilldren's last released song was "Hip Hop Was?", featured on the 1998 compilation album Classic Elements

DiscographyEdit

SongsEdit

Year Title Album
1995 "Elevation" Untranslated Prescriptions
"I Wanna Win"
"I'm an MC"
1996 "Equilibrium" Do the Math
"N's Don't L"
"Who's Listening"
1997 "Court's in Session" 14 Fathoms Deep
1998 "Hip Hop Was?" Classic Elements

Unreleased songsEdit

These songs were later released on B-Self's YouTube page.

  • "Free Enterprize" feat. Narcotik (1997)[2]
  • "Hood Rat" (late 1990s)[3]
  • "Work" feat. D-Uneek (recorded circa 1997)[4]

ReferencesEdit

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