War - The World Is A Ghetto - Review
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critics' view

Released in November ’72, “World is A Ghetto” went on to become America’s biggest selling LP of the year in 1973 – no mean feat for these funk soul brothers outta California. The fact that such progressive black music was so pop blows my mind. Harold Brown, who was the drummer and a founding member of War, beautifully sums up the inspiration, the intent and the feeling behind the impressive work:

“We were living around Pomona and different parts, San Pedro, Compton, and so on. And we spent a lot of time out around Malibu, and in Hollywood. Well, one day we started realizing that their toilets backed up. Then we started realizing that rich people, people living in some of those big suburbs and stuff, hey, they got their problems, they got broke down cars and stuff. So we started realizing the world is a ghetto. And it's really up to each one of us how we take and work with our environment. We truly believe that everybody can succeed. We believe that it doesn't really matter who you are, where you come from, or your class situation. But we don't look at it upon the way people say it, 'Well, if I don't accumulate a lot of wealth I'm not successful.' Or, 'If I'm not wearing a certain kind of clothes or driving a certain car,' or 'I gotta have a certain kind of house,' that doesn't mean I'm not successful. Well, through that song, what we're really trying to say, you can be successful, as long as you do unto each other as you're supposed to do, be a good neighbor. Get out and do the best you can. Work with each other. Work as a team. That's what we need in America. We don't need all these different factions: I'm a Democrat, I'm a Republican, I'm Independent. We are righteous, that's what War stood for. It was trying to bring everybody together through our music. That's why I think our music crossed all the different barriers, why it went into all the different nationalities. Why people accepted it, because it was hydrogenous type music.”

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