Who was 24-Carat Black?

Hosts Joe Watson and Toby Brazwell take a hard look at legendary tracks of the past and present, connecting the dots on the music they sample and the songs that inspired them. Join us for Season 3, where Riffs takes a deep dive into the tragic world of 24-Carat Black, the band everyone has heard, but nobody has heard of.

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify Listen on Pandora

Donny is Too Short

| S:1 E:23

If you can look past his lyrics, you’ll find one of the most decorated artists in his genre when it comes to platinum and gold plaques. It’s Los Angeles-born, Oakland-raised rapper Too $hort who can be credited with not only initiating the Bay Area's indie hip-hop scene as well as having a hand in the birth of crunk music. In his 30 years of music, Too $hort became one of the most celebrated rappers of the 90’s and beyond, and has recorded 20 albums with collaborations all across the board: From Jay- Z, Tupac, Biggie, Scarface from the Geto Boys, and Lady Gaga... Not too bad! Joe and Toby connect the musical dots from Too $horts hit track “The Ghetto” (1990) and trace it back to an unforgettable 70’s soul singer.

What we geek out over in this episode: NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) Controller and Metroid, multiple public service announcements, Donny Hathaway & Roberta Flack, “I Thank You Baby” (1969) with June Conquest, George Benson’s cover of “The Ghetto” (2000), Leon Russell’s “A Song For You” (1970) covers - grab a box of tissues! - including Ray Charles, DMX/Bizzy Bone and, of course, Donny Hathaway’s version; “This Christmas” (1970), ‘pushing the envelope;’ and a plethora of hit records by the Oakland-raised rapper, Too $hort… and Richard Marx.

Bonus Material: “In the Ghetto” by Elvis Presley (1969)

Recent Episodes

View All

Episode 4: Where Do We Go From Here?

Riffs on Riffs | S:3 E:4
Join hosts Joe and Toby as they take a deep dive on the band that everyone has heard, but nobody has heard of....
Listen to Episode 4: Where Do We Go From Here?

Episode 3: It All Falls Apart

Riffs on Riffs | S:3 E:3
Join hosts Joe and Toby as they take a deep dive on the band that everyone has heard, but nobody has heard of....
Listen to Episode 3: It All Falls Apart

Episode 2: Living the Dream?

Riffs on Riffs | S:3 E:2
Join hosts Joe and Toby as they take a deep dive on band that everyone has heard, but nobody has heard of....
Listen to Episode 2: Living the Dream?

Episode 1: The Origins of 24-Carat Black

Riffs on Riffs | S:3 E:1
Join hosts Joe and Toby as they take a deep dive on the band that everyone has heard, but nobody has heard of....
Listen to Episode 1: The Origins of 24-Carat Black