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The Dayton Family

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  • Formed: Flint, MI
  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s
  • Group Members: Bootleg


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

Group Members: Bootleg

All Music Guide:

Though the Dayton Family never extended their reach to either the West or East Coast, the little-known rap group developed a substantial cult following in the Midwest during the mid-'90s with their potent hardcore rap. Their unlikely home base of Flint, Michigan, immediately gave them an idiosyncratic identity; a relatively uneventful, far from glitzy, industrial city an hour outside of Detroit, Flint hosts some of the most depressed ghettos in America. It was from these hopeless streets that the Dayton Family arose, naming themselves after one of the city's most infamous hustling streets, Dayton Avenue. Like Detroit's Esham and Memphis' Three 6 Mafia, the Dayton Family sincerely emulated their Midwestern mentality: a dark, grim mentality focused on modest survival rather than riches or fame. Unfortunately, the group's members all endured problems with the law throughout the late '90s; their numerous indictments prevented them from ever capitalizing on their modest success. As a result, years passed with only the occasional solo album to retain any interest in the cult group.

Back in the early '90s, Shoestring and Bootleg met via their younger brothers (one of them being future group member Ghetto E), and immediately began writing rhymes together, resulting in their first song, "Dope Dayton Ave." It wasn't long before another aspiring rapper named Matt Hinkle joined the duo and then, after teaming up with a local producer named Steve Pitts, the Dayton Family officially became a group. Together they recorded a 12" and got signed by the small Atlanta indie label Po Broke, who then released the group's debut album, What's on My Mind?, in 1995. In addition to this debut album, the Dayton Family also managed to score a slot on No Limit's Down South Hustlers compilation, where they opened the double album with their "Stick N Move" track, a magnificent break, the Dayton Family now had recognition not only in Flint but also throughout the South.

After substantial touring and word of mouth promotion, the Dayton Family returned to the studio to record their follow-up album, F.B.I. As a testament to their quick ascension to the position of being one of the underground's most up-and-coming hardcore rap groups, F.B.I. ended up going gold and even managed to inch into the R&B Top Ten chart at one point in late 1996. Unfortunately, just as the Dayton Family were on their way to mass recognition in the hardcore rap underground, the law intervened. Between What's on My Mind? and F.B.I., group member Matt Hinkle had gone to jail, being replaced by Bootleg's younger brother, Ghetto E. But if that wasn't enough, Bootleg ended up being indicted after the release of F.B.I., soon followed by other group members over the course of the successive years. Throughout the late '90s, while the Dayton Family dealt with their legal problems, both Bootleg and Shoestring managed to record and release solo albums in 1999. Unfortunately, neither of the albums managed to sell many copies outside of the Flint area and suddenly the group was bordering on the brink of calling it quits. Yet in 2001, Ghetto E, Shoestring, and Bootleg all signed to Detroit rapper Esham's Overcore label, a testament of the group's continuing persistence in the face of constant adversity. A long layoff followed those solo efforts and a 2002 group album, Welcome to the Dopehouse, before the group finally returned as a duo in summer 2005 with Family Feud. Back on Dayton Ave. followed in 2006 along with the remix effort Return to Dayton Ave. In 2010, the band signed with the Psychopathic Records imprint Hatchet House with their Charges of Indictment album landing on the label a year later.


The Dayton Family is an American Gangsta Rap group from Flint, Michigan. The group is composed of Ira Dorsey, Raheen Peterson, and Matt Hinkle, who perform under the respective personas of Bootleg, Shoestring, and Backstabba. The name Dayton Family derives from Dayton Street, one of the most crime-ridden streets in their hometown.


Musical career1.1 Early history (1993–2005)1.2 Stabilization (2005-2010)1.3 Hatchet House (2010-2011)

Musical career[edit]

Early history (1993–2005)[edit]

In 1993, Ira Dorsey and Raheen Peterson met through their younger brothers. The two began writing together, under the names Bootleg and Shoestring, and created their first song, "Dope Dayton Ave." Rapper Matt Hinkle soon joined the duo under the name Backstabba. The group began working with local producer Steve Pitts and formed The Dayton Family, named after Dayton Avenue, one of the most crime-ridden streets in their hometown of Flint, Michigan. In between studio sessions, they performed at local clubs and quickly gain notoriety within Flint.

The Dayton Family recorded a 12-inch single and soon signed with Atlanta independent record label Po Broke in 1995. That year, the group released their debut album What's on My Mind? and were featured on No Limits Down South Hustlers: Bouncin' and Swingin' compilation album, which got the trio recognition throughout Southern United States. After the album's release, Hinkle was imprisoned and replaced by Dorse's younger brother Eric, who performed under the name Ghetto E. Following a year of touring, the group left Po Broke due to legal problems with the label's producer and signed with Russ Entertainment .

In 1996, they released their second album F.B.I., standing for Fuck Being Indicted, under Russ Entertainment / Relativity Records. The album was later certified gold. The Dayton Family was plagued with various legal problems, including Ira being incarcerated soon after release of F.B.I., which hindered the amount of work the group released. In 1999, both Ira and Peterson released solo albums. Two years later, the group signed with Detroit rapper Esham's Gothom label and released solo albums. The next year, they released Welcome to the Dopehouse under Koch Records.

Stabilization (2005-2010)[edit]

After a three-year hiatus, the group was trimmed down to Ira and Peterson and they released Family Feud through Fast Life Records. The following year, The Dayton Family signed with U Be U Records and released Back on Dayton Ave. The duo added new member Jake the Flake later that same year and released Return to Dayton Ave. in October. Following Hinkle's release from prison, the group returned to their original lineup of Ira, Peterson, and Hinkle. In 2009, they released The Return: The Right To Remain Silent under DDA Records.

Hatchet House (2010-2011)[edit]

On July 14, 2010, The Dayton Family signed with Insane Clown Posse's subsidiary label Hatchet House. The group released the EP Psycho on February 1, 2011, and a music video was released for the song "Cocaine" on 28 March. Their eighth album, Charges of Indictment, was released on June 28. They most recently featured in the Psychopathic Psypher Part 1 & 2 (Bootleg in Part 1 and Shoestring in Part 2). The video for The Psypher (Part 1 & 2) was released on June 5, 2011.

^ "Back on Dayton Ave: The Dayton Family Interview". Psychopathic Records. Retrieved January 25, 2011. ^ Jason Birchmeier. "The Dayton Family - Biography". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 25, 2011. ^ "Biography". Psychopathic Records. Retrieved January 25, 2011. ^ "The Dayton Family are Doin' the Damn Thang". Hatchet Herald (Psychopathic Records) 13 (19). January 21, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2011. ^ "June 21st, 2011 Charges of Indictment Release". Hatchet Herald (Psychopathic Records) 13 (23). March 18, 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 

Style and influences[edit]

The Dayton Family is known for their gritty lyrics concerning ghetto survival, struggle, and poverty. Allmusic reviewer Jason Birchmeier describes The Dayton Family's musical style as "potent hardcore rap." He says that the group has "an idiosyncratic identity" and "a dark, grim mentality focused on modest survival rather than riches or fame." The group lists Run DMC, Michael Jackson, LL Cool J, N.W.A, Geto Boys, Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., X-Clan, Spice 1, and Public Enemy as influences.

^ Cite error: The named reference allmusicbio was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ "The Dayton Family's Inspiration". Psychopathic Records. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
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