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Houston‘s Geto Boys are one of the most important and influential rap crews of all time… period. Founded in 1986 as “Ghetto Boys,” the original lineup consisted of Raheem, Sir Rap-A-Lot, and The Slim Jukebox, none of which were in the picture when the crew truly began to make a name for themselves. In 1987, when DJ Ready Red made his way down to Houston from his home in Trenton, New Jersey, that original trio already had a minor local hit with a track called “Car Freak“–it didn’t impress him. Sir Rap-A-Lot and Raheem left early on, and Jukebox was soon joined by Red; fellow East Coast transplant, the Jamaican-born dancer/hype-man, Bushwick Bill (known as “Little Billy,” at the time); and a rapper by the name of Prince Johnny C. This was the lineup that released the group’s debut album, Making Trouble (1988), and while they presented themselves as little more than a Run DMC ripoff–both in sound and style (all black get-ups with Cuban link chains and fedoras)–that effort did yield two very important milestones. The first was the track, “Balls and My Word,” which involved Ready Red sampling the film Scarface, which both foresaw the addition of the rapper/future legend, Scarface to the GB crew, as well as the huge popularity and importance of the film for hip hop in general. The other notable cut on the album was the Johnny C-penned, “Assassins“–often credited as being the very first horrorcore rap song ever recorded. Of course, it wasn’t until Johnny C and Jukebox left the crew and were replaced by Willie D and Scarface (operating under the name “Akshun”) that the seminal Geto Boys lineup was official formed. This is the formation that would go on to impact the entire industry.
With Bushwick Bill proving a lyrical force of his own, Geto Boys wrote some of the most controversial material in all of music, becoming an undisputed powerhouse in gangster rap and true pioneers of the horrorcore genre that continues to thrive today. This was not only a different Geto Boys than had been seen previously; this was a different type of rap group than anyone had ever come across anywhere. N.W.A. put out some pretty hardcore shit, but I challenge anyone to put it up against something like the Geto Boys‘ self-title release from 1990. In fact, that album was so intense that Geffen backed out of distributing it, altogether. Warner Music only agreed to take on the distribution, under the condition that the following secondary disclaimer was placed on the packaging, in addition to the typical explicit content warning”
“Def American Recordings is opposed to censorship. Our manufacturer and distributor, however, do not condone or endorse the content of this recording, which they find violent, sexist, racist, and indecent”
The song “Mind of a Lunatic” alone features Bushwick rapping about stalking a woman, sneaking into her house, raping her, slitting her throat, fucking her corpse, and then writing his name on the walls in her blood. This is followed by a Scarface verse where he cuts a grandmother’s throat, before shooting a bunch of cops dead, while whacked out on angel dust. He then takes out some innocent by-standers and, eventually, wakes up in a mental ward with his wrists slit. Willie D finishes off the track with a much more direct approach–he just threatens to blow someone’s “motherfuckin’ house up” with their wife and kids in inside. The song “Size Ain’t Shit,” on the other hand, is just a straight up gangstered-out murder track with Bill shooting the fuck out of everybody.
Ready Red left during the recording of their breakthrough We Can’t Be Stopped album, which featured the controversial cover image of Bushwick Bill on hospital gurney after he’d shot a bullet through his own eye (it’s still lodged in his head). While “Chuckie,” written by associate Ganksta N-I-P, was directly based on the film Child’s Play, there are a number of tracks on the release that demonstrated the greater versatility that Geto Boys possess. “Aint With Being Broke,” addresses the issue of poverty, while the title of “Fuck A War” is fairly self-explanatory. But, it was the song “Mind’s Playing Tricks on Me,” that not only took a brilliantly abstract approach to lyricism, with Scarface venturing into the dark territories of paranoia, suicidal depression, and mental instability; but would also become the biggest hit that they’d ever rlease–it’s continuously listed as one of the greatest rap songs of all time.
Geto Boys are living legends and the first group to ever put Houston and Southern Rap on the map, paving the way for everyone that has come along since. Willie D‘s voice even, often sounds like a precursor to Mystikal. Over the years, they’ve addressed such issues as police brutality (“Crooked Officer”), the casualties of gang violence (“6 Feet Deep”), US government (“Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta”), and global issues (“The World is a Ghetto”), but it is their miraculous ability to paint these scenarios through sheer lyrical ability, that is as impressive and vital as the issues that they’ve been inspired to tackle. As long as rap music exists, Geto Boys‘ influence will be felt, but that doesn’t mean that you’re always going to have the opportunity to catch them live, so don’t miss your chance.
With Bushwick Bill now a born-again Christian who is only interested in strictly recording “gospel raps,” it’s likely that, after this current reunion tour, it’s curtains for these guys as both a recording and a touring collective. Fortunately, our friends at Mike Thrasher Presents have offered us a pair of tickets to give away, so that one of you jokers can catch Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Bill in person at their upcoming Seattle gig for free. Find out how to get them below.
THE CONTEST / GIVEAWAY:
*One winner will receive a pair of tickets to see the following show:
Live @ El Corazon
June 18th, 2013
HOW TO ENTER:
This contest will focus around the Geto Boys‘ aggressive lyrical content, gangster rap/horrorcore roots, and penchant for vivid, over-the-top, borderline cartoonish violence.
With these contests, we typically ask people to do some critical thinking and write something clever, or, for the lazier giveaways, to simply tell us why they deserve to win. This time around, we’re not so sure that we want to give these tickets away at all. That means that your task isn’t to tell us why you should get them, but rather to let us know HOW you’re planning to come and take them.
Channeling the spirit of the Geto Boys, break down exactly how you intend to come peel these fucking tickets out of our hands. This could either be formatted in a rap, or not at all. Be as graphic and detailed as you want, or get straight to the point. It doesn’t matter… it’s all up to you.
Post your answer in the comment section below.
There is no part 3. That’s all there is to the contest. It’s pretty easy… but you should probably read the fine print.
The Fine Print:
All entries must be received by Sunday, June 16th at 11:59pm to be eligible.
You can enter as many times as you want, but use a valid email so that we can contact you.
If you sign in with Facebook, make sure that your account can accept a message from us.
Winner will be chosen arbitrarily, based on our personal “favorite.”
If you are not sure that you will be able to attend the show, do not enter! You’d be surprised how often that shit happens and we don’t want these going to waste.
If we are unable to contact the winner in a reasonable amount of time, a new winner will be chosen.