Nine Reasons Why I Chose to Write a Book About 24-Carat Black’s Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth

Zach Schonfeld on the significance of 24-Carat Black’s legacy I realize that 24-Carat Black’s 1973 soul-funk masterpiece may seem like an unlikely choice for the 33 1/3 treatment. I also realize that much of the target audience for this book series may not be especially familiar with 24-Carat Black. As I write in the book’s introduction, “Its influence is largely invisible. It never sold ten million copies. It doesn’t show up on Rolling Stone lists of the 500 greatest albums of all time. At the time of writing, it doesn’t…

Beyond 24-Carat Black: A Sample Revenue Reading List

Zach Schonfeld on the various dimensions of sampling When I tell people about my book about 24-Carat Black, I often mention that the group’s music has been sampled hundreds of times throughout hip-hop. If you’ve listened to, say, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN, or Nas’s double-platinum album It Was Written, you’ve heard bits and pieces of 24-Carat Black. But the surviving members of 24-Carat Black haven’t received royalties for those samples, even when the samples were legally cleared. The latter half of my 33 1/3 book explores both the creative and legal…

An Interview with 24-Carat Black’s Saxophonist and Road Manager

Zach Schonfeld in conversation with Jerome Derrickson While researching and reporting my 33 1/3 book about 24-Carat Black’s progressive funk masterpiece Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth, I tracked down and interviewed ten surviving members of 24-Carat Black. (Some from the group’s original lineup, others from the group’s Chicago-based second lineup.) These interviews were long and fascinating, full of vivid recollections of 24-Carat Black’s unusual rise and fall, but—for obvious reasons of space and narrative flow—I could only quote small portions of them in the book. So I figured I could use this…