Review Summary: If you like to treat women like crap, kill them and have sex with their corpses, you’ll love this album
Starting off as the “Ghetto Boys,” the group replaced 2 members and changed their name to “Geto Boys” after their lackluster debut ‘Making Trouble.’ The addition of Willie D and Scarface (then known as Akshen) resulted in a much better album although the lack of chemistry between the rappers is evident. This was the first album for what would be the “real” Geto Boys lineup and laid the foundation for their future success.
Produced almost entirely by one of the original members DJ Ready Red, (Bushwick Bill being the other) who also has a memorable performance on “Do it Like G.O.” with the lyrics: “Bitch, mother*** the KKK wearing dresses and ***, what the ***, is they gay"” As far as the production, it’s pretty simple, stripped down and plain sampling hip-hop reliable Curtis Mayfield.
The Geto Boys created lots of controversy for their violent lyrics, rampant misogyny and wait for it… necrophilia on “Mind of a Lunatic” courtesy of Bushwick Bill: “Had sex with the corpse before I left her And drew my name on the wall like helter skelter.” Akshen and Willie D are competent rappers and their deep, booming voices are tough to differentiate on this album, Bushwick Bill meanwhile has a higher pitched voice that is easily distinguishable. The misogyny on this album is off the charts on tracks like “Gangster of Love” with very graphic descriptions of their sex acts.
The violent but funny “Read These Nikes” talks about leaving their shoes imprinted on someone’s face. The song “Size Ain’t ***” predictably is led by vertically challenged rapper Bushwick Bill who was originally brought on as a dancer for the group. Akshen gets his time to shine on “Seek and Destroy” which shows his great abilities, easily the most talented of the group, it’s no wonder that he went on to have the most successful solo career. Willie D’s track “Let a Ho be a Ho” is exactly what you would expect from the title and all this talk about bitches and hos starts to wear thin. Akshen adopts his alias on the track “Scarface” with the line: “On the for realer, my nigga, just call me Scarface” this was the last album in which he appeared as Akshen he would fom then on be known as Scarface.
There are some pro-black, conscious lyrics that unfortunately get lost among the misogyny and violence that litters the entire album. Credited as the founders of the “Horrorcore” sub-genre, mainly because of the track “Mind of a Lunatic” and Bushwick Bill’s raps, the Geto Boys somewhat pigeonholed themselves but were able to overcome that and where the first successful southern rappers.
‘Grip It! On That Other Level’ caught the ear of super-producer Rick Rubin who released essentially an updated version of this album titled ‘Geto Boys.’