It isn’t often that great music reaches out to a community and is successful. Ghetto Division, a label and production crew of young aspiring DJs from the South side of Chicago, who are changing the club scene around the world. Ghetto Division hosts events that bring people of all ages together and creates a place for its young to call home. They have had the privilege of hosting events at Smart Bar, the Metro and many other popular Chicago hot spots. Ghetto Division has many loyal fans that come out to all their events and represent Chicago’s finest DJs.
Ghetto Division consists of DJs Charlie Glitch, M-Dok, Moonman, Rob Threezy, Rampage, Maddjazz, Lorenzo Vektor, D-51, Sigma and Louie Cue. Ghetto Division has worked in production with Ghetto Division Records, Mad Decent, Nightshifters, Idiot House, and T & A. Because of their ability in spinning all kinds of music, such as house, juke, ghettotech, bassline, heavy house, rave, dubstep, techno, Ghetto Division has been fortunate to reach many different crowds. They have even had the experience of DJing events out of Chicago and the country; they have DJ’ed events in Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Netherlands, and Puerto Rico.
Ghetto Division first began in Hot Jams, a record store located in Chicago’s Archer Heights neighborhood. The future Ghetto Division DJs would meet up and work on music all day, everyday in order to be at their best for local events hosted on weekends. As time progressed, their tracks were gaining a lot of positive public attention. Front man, Charlie Glitch knew they had great potential and didn’t want to lose track of any of the talent. So Glitch decided they should become a crew. The crew hoped that they would be recognized as a strong, versatile crew with a variety of musical influence and knowledge that completes their sound.
Ghetto Division’s DJ Charlie Glitch was born and raised in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. DJ Glitch was first introduced to DJing at the age of 12 by his father who was also a house DJ too. DJ Charlie Glitch was born the minute his father taught him how to put a record on a turntable and he never looked back. Since then, Glitch started getting gigs at house parties, underground events, and even started producing with Hot Jams at the age of 19.
So far, Ghetto Division has had a positive effect on the community by bringing youth together at events and showing more than the traditional gang lifestyle that surrounds Chicago’s streets. While many of the DJs agree that education is important, they also agree that when you are successful at something, like influencing the community, you can get hooked. But they do aspire to complete their educational careers.
Because of their positive influence, the DJs of Ghetto Division have said that the task of managing school and their music production can be a struggle. Some of the DJs had to put their education on pause just to advance in the competing music world. Sometimes when you’re gifted at what you do, you have to follow those dreams, and hope that it is the right decision.
Last summer, Ghetto Division lost one of its members, Jeff A. Maldonado a.k.a. J-Def. On July 25, 2009, J-Def was tragically shot and killed, a day after his 19th birthday, in the Pilsen neighborhood. J-Def, who was a student at Harold Washington College, was passionate about graffiti art and music. J-Def did not stand for gang violence and it was unfortunate that gang violence lead to his death. Ghetto Division learned from J-Def’s misfortune and turned it into a positive example for the Pilsen community to fight against gang violence. Because of incidents like this, Ghetto Division makes sure they’re accessible to the youth in the community.
Even though a traditional education isn’t dominant within Ghetto Division, they still believe education is important. They hold free DJ and production lessons for the community and stream a live radio show every Friday on restrictedradio.com from 4 PM to 10 PM. Ghetto Division does this because they feel it is important to get the youth out of the streets and involved, since the South side of Chicago is notorious for violence. As DJ Charlie Glitch says, “It’s important to get them involved in something they deem important, and why not have fun while learning?”
Ghetto Division is currently working on their label and planning tours. Their upcoming tours range from around the country to Canada. Eventually, they would like to do a world tour. Ghetto Division is even working on opening a Ghetto Division store and maybe opening multiple recording studios. Apart from that, they have been focusing on throwing events, working on new tracks, and gaining exposure.
In Chicago, they can be seen DJing at Smart Bar and the Metro. On May 7th they will be at the Abbey Pub, on June 19th they will be at the Congress Theatre, and July 2nd they will be performing along with many other popular artists, at Soldier Field.
If you’d like to follow Ghetto Division or get involved, check out these sites for more information:
Isaura M. Salinas