Friday, April 16, 2010

Today's Special: Geto Dope

If you think about it, the Geto Boys were like gangsta rap’s answer to Slayer at one point. After all, their lyrical content sort of covered the same subjects—rape, murder, necrophilia, and extreme violence in general. Going with that comparison, it’s safe to say that the Geto Boys’ self-titled LP is their Reign in Blood—their loudest and most sonically satisfying effort. This album battles it out with Ice-T’s The Iceberg for personal favorite hardcore rap record status, and probably wins in the long run. It’s one thing to be black in Los Angeles—and likely another to be black in the ghettos of Houston, Texas.

Released in 1990 on Def American, The Geto Boys was the Texas rappers’ big-label debut. However, it was actually a compilation that remixed ten songs from their previous album Grip It! On That Other Level plus one from Making Trouble (their first album as the Ghetto Boys) and two new songs. But the previously recorded songs benefited greatly from the remix. “Fuck ‘Em” explodes out of your stereo speakers as a perfect song to get you out of bed and ready to take on the goddamned world two fists at a time. In fact, the entire A-side to this album (the first seven songs, for the iPod generation) is the reason why it’s probably my favorite hardcore rap album of all-time.

A lot of the recordings we look at through The Evil Eye are old favorites of mine from a time when life was a little bit harder. But I was armed with a boom box, and The Geto Boys is another tape that enjoyed constant rotation to pass the time. When punk and metal got boring, that’s when I’d break out the gangsta rap tapes and not give a fuck what anybody else said about it. The Geto Boys were perfect for these occasions, calming the sense of desperation that comes with little food or sleep and not showering regularly. Some people got a kick out of the filthy white punk kid listening to gangsta rap. Others just cringed. Later, it became my favorite record to listen to before going to work.

Before you get up in arms about lyrical content, remember the Slayer comparison I made above and ask yourself if you would do the same about theirs. If not, feel free to enjoy this album for what it is—a loud, angry, nasty, offensive affair courtesy of America’s worst nightmare. It’s the least painful response.

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