Evolution of Ghetto House

History

 

In Chicago during the mid-90s, house DJs started mixing up their sets with southern rap and Miami booty bass, giving birth to ghetto house. The resulting sound was stripped down Chicago house with a raw and gritty edge, and, often, totally over-the-top lyrics exemplified by DJ Assault’s "Ass N Titties" and Mr De's "Sex on the Beach". The genre fell into obscurity until a revived version that was harder, grittier, and bassier emerged in the 2010s courtesy of artists like Destructo, Amine Edge & DANCE, Malaa and NuKid.

 

Influences

 

1990s ghetto house started out as a more explicit version of Chicago house similar to American hip house. While the genre borrows aspects of techno and electro, one of its main defining features is its stripped-down, rhythm-centric arrangement. Modern ghetto house also takes cues from dubstep and trap, often offsetting classic Chicago house beats with trap-inspired bridges.

 

Sound

 

Ghetto house features bass-heavy drops and rhythm patterns with intricate hi-hat fills that often come straight out of trap music. Pitched-down rap lyrics and bass riffs are complemented with white noise, metallic reverb, and sometimes obnoxious sirens and synth stabs.

 

 

Jammin The House Gerald - "Pump That Shit Up"

Chicago, 1997

 

"Pump That Shit Up" by Jammin Jerald features a frantic, pounding four-on-the-floor uptempo beat with trademark lyrics over stripped down production.

 

 

Destructo - "Higher"

Washington DC, 2013

 

"Higher" has a deep bass sound with a really basic drum beat.

 

 

Amine Edge & DANCE - "Halfway Crooks"

Marseille, 2013

 

French stars Amine Edge & DANCE produce a stripped down track with wobbly bass that looks back on early incarnations of the genre, but on this track there's a build and drop giving it a more modern house feel.

 

 

Malaa - "Notorious"

Paris, 2015

 

90s rap legend Notorious B.I.G. gets the modern ghetto house treatment on Malaa's "Notorious".

 

 

NuKid - "Can't Deny It"

Los Angeles, 2016

 

"Can't Deny It" by NuKid is a great hybrid that seamlessly blends bass house, EDM and trap.

 

 

Shiba San - "Back To Funk"

Paris, 2018

 

A stripped down Chicago house beat makes for a stark but powerful track that is all about the rolling bass and simple vocal sample.

 

 

Malaa & Jacknife - "Revolt"

Paris, 2019

 

French DJ MALAA uses auto tuned vocals overtop a deep and simple beat on "Revolt".

 

 

REZZ x MALAA - "Criminals"

Niagra Falls & Paris, 2019

 

In a genre known for bass drops rather than full-spectrum epic drops, Rezz & MALAA hit listeners with a body-rocking combo in "Criminals".

 

 

Evolution of House Music

Check out our 31-part series, starting with an overview of house music's 40-year history.

Read more

If you’re like us, music is at the core of your purpose.

We’ve designed our one-year college program to equip aspiring music creators, producers, and sound engineers with the skills and opportunities they need to succeed as sound and music professionals.

Learn more about our college program

Recording Arts Canada is a sound and music production college with campuses in downtown Montreal and Toronto. We're registered by Ontario's Ministry of Colleges and Universities and by Quebec's Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Canadian students qualify to apply for financial aid, and international students qualify to apply for post-study work permits.

Covid-19 response