24-Carat Black – Gone: The Promises Of Yesterday
Embraced in the early 90s by Britain’s rare groove scene and later sampled by Digable Planets and Jay-Z, Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth has since been known as 24-Carat Black’s first and final chapter, barely a footnote in the well documented history of Stax. Producer and songwriter Dale Warren’s dark urban concept album, released in the fall of 1973, challenged even its target audience to embrace it. A downer message to the emerging black middle class and too heady for a populace basking in the afterglow of the Wattstax festival held a year prior, the record didn’t approach radio’s pop standards and wasn’t near white enough for the mainstream press. Warren’s brainchild band simply pushed past their concept’s conclusion, piling up dozens of reels for an intimate follow-up album that no one in the world wanted to hear. Yet. With their ambitious debut LP downgraded to cutout status when Stax finally shuttered in 1975, 24-Carat Black found themselves watching their moment recede in the rearview.