The Geto Boys: A look at the history of the Fifth Ward rap group

2017 Getty Images

From left to right: Scarface, Bushwick Bill and Willie D of the Geto Boys perform on stage at the Growlers 6 festival at the LA Waterfront on Oct. 29, 2017, in San Pedro, California.

HOUSTON - The Geto Boys came into existence in the Fifth Ward around 1986.

The rap group consists of the late Bushwick Bill, Scarface and Willie D.

The Geto Boys' single "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" was a national hit. The song made it to No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100.

History

The original Ghetto Boys consisted of Raheem, Sir Rap-a-Lot and The Sire Jukebox. Raheem and Sir Rap-a-Lot left the group and DJ Ready Red, Prince Johnny C and Little Billy joined.

Little Billy later became known as Bushwick Bill.

In 1986, the group released their first single, "Car Freak." Two LPs were then released: "You Ain't Nothin'/I Run This" in 1987 and "Be Down" in 1988.

The group's debut album, "Making Trouble," received little attention and the group broke up shortly after its release in 1988.

A new lineup of Bushwick Bill, Scarface and Willie D recorded "Grip It! On That Other Level" in 1989.

For the group's first two albums, the spelling was Ghetto Boys.

The group changed the spelling to The Geto Boys from then on.

In 1990, the group released its self-titled "The Geto Boys" album. The group was signed to Def American Recordings at the time. Def American was forced to switch distributors from Geffen Records to Warner Bros. Records due to the controversy over the lyrics.

In 1992, the group released "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta" as a promotional single from a 1992 compilation album, "Uncut Dope." The song has been covered by the band Aqueduct and country singer Carter Falco.

The group released "Till Death Do Us Part" in 1993 after Willie D left the group and Big Mike joined. The album went gold and the song "Six Feet Depp" made it to No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Big Mike was dropped from the group to make way for Willie D's return. The Geto Boys then released the 1996 album "The Resurrection" and the 1998 record "Da Good Da Bad & Da Ugly," which did not feature Bushwick Bill.

After a three-year hiatus, the group reunited in 2002 to record "The Foundation," its seventh album. It was released in January 2005.

Movies and video games

The song "Street Life" from "Till Death Do Us Part" was featured in the movie "South Central."

"Mind Playing Tricks on Me" was featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto V.

Festival

The group came together for a reunion at Cypress Hill's SmokeOut festival in San Bernardino, California, on Oct. 23, 2009.

The Geto Boys also performed at the Growlers 6 festival on Oct. 29, 2017, in San Pedro, California.

Deportation

Bushwick Bill was threatened with deportation to Jamaica in 2010.

Deaths

DJ Ready Red died of an apparent heart attack in August 2018, at the age of 53.

On June 9, 2019, Bushwick Bill died of pancreatic cancer.

Albums

  • Making Trouble (1988)
  • Grip It! On That Other Level (1989)
  • Geto Boys (1990)
  • We Can't Be Stopped (1991)
  • Till Death Do Us Part (1993)
  • The Resurrection (1996)
  • Da Good da Bad & da Ugly (1998)
  • The Foundation (2005)

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