Street-Gang-Turned-Band Ghetto Brothers Attract "All Classes, All Races, All Ages" Years After Making Hip Hop History

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"I didn't think this would ever happen, but now that it has, it reminds me of what my father always told me: 'It's never too late,'" says Benjy Melendez. The 60-year-old South Bronx native is positively giddy as he holds a copy of the newly reissued Power Fuerza -- the one and only album that Melendez, his brothers Robert and Victor, and five other members of his Puerto Rican/American street gang-turned-band the Ghetto Brothers cut back in 1972. Only released locally, Power Fuerza disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived, eventually becoming a near-mythical talisman for record collectors aware of the Ghetto Brothers' significance to New York City's music and cultural history.


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