Geto Boys - “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”

The Geto Boys were the South’s answer to the West’s N.W.A. and later the East’s Wu-Tang Clan.  In the 90s, there weren’t many gangster rap groups or individuals that could compete with the Houston, Texas trio of Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Bill.  Their 1989 underground debut release as their classic lineup, Grip It! On That Other Level, is one of 46 albums to be awarded “five mics” by The Source, an honor reserved for classic hip hop albums.  Scarface would later earn two more “5 mic” ratings for 1994’s The Diary and 2002’s The Fix, making him one of only 7 artists to receive two 5 mic ratings for solo albums, along with Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Nas, Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, and Jay-Z.

The Geto Boys were one of the first acts to emerge in the South and is a precursor to the Dirty South movement.  They were known for there violent lyrics which included, among other things, gore, psychotic experiences, and necrophilia, but this subject matter is done to such an extent that it becomes absurd and comical.  You many recognize “Still” and “Damm It Feels Good to Be a Gangster” from Office Space.  Many of there songs, such as “Mind Playing Tricks on Me,” “Six Feet Deep,” and “The World is a Ghetto” come across as honest confessions.

“Mind Playing Tricks on Me” is a hip hop classic.  Off of their second commercial release We Can’t Be Stopped (1991), the song samples Isaac Hayes’ “Hung Up On My Baby.”  The song itself deals with several, slightly comical, situations of severe paranoia—I won’t say more, I don’t want to ruin the song.

The song is one of the most influential songs in hip hop.  It has been remade or mentioned by Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Clipse, Biggie, OutKast, and The Game and influenced Third Eye Blind’s single “Semi-Charmed Life.”

Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,

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