Ghetto Thang

Album: 3 Feet High and Rising (1989)


  • This denunciation of ghetto poverty and other social ills samples the nursery rhyme "Mary Had A Little Lamb," James Brown's "Funky President (People It's Bad)," The Blackbyrds' "Rock Creek Park" and Kraftwerk's "Trans-Europe Express."
  • The three members of De La Soul had been writing rhymes and working on concepts for a while but Three Feet High and Rising didn't come together until they got signed by Tommy Boy. This was one of the songs that originated in their earlier sessions. Posdnous recalled to Rolling Stone: "( It was) one of the routines we were trying to come up with in the house. By the time we were with Tommy Boy we were able to give it a better beat, give it a better keyboard, and it wound up becoming a song that talked about things that happen in the ghettos of America. We said, 'Let's make sure we have something like "The Message" from Grandmaster Flash, like, wow, that's a whole other level of looking at things.' I think it was important for us, already being known from our singles as being funny and witty, to have something like that added as well."
  • The original title was "Soft Violins" as De La Soul were playing with the violin sound on the keyboard.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Colbie Caillat

Colbie CaillatSongwriter Interviews

Since emerging from MySpace with her hit "Bubbly," Colbie has become a top songwriter, even crafting a hit with Taylor Swift.

Richie McDonald of Lonestar

Richie McDonald of LonestarSongwriter Interviews

Richie talks about the impact of "Amazed," and how his 4-year-old son inspired another Lonestar hit.

George Harrison

George HarrisonFact or Fiction

Did Eric Clapton really steal George's wife? What's the George Harrison-Monty Python connection? Set the record straight with our Fact or Fiction quiz.

Jeff Trott

Jeff TrottSongwriter Interviews

Sheryl Crow's longtime songwriting partner/guitarist Jeff Trott reveals the stories behind many of the singer's hits, and what its like to be a producer for Leighton Meester and Max Gomez.

Rickie Lee Jones

Rickie Lee JonesSongwriter Interviews

Rickie Lee Jones on songwriting, social media, and how she's handling Trump.


AC/DCFact or Fiction

Does Angus really drink himself silly? Did their name come from a sewing machine? See if you can spot the real stories about AC/DC.