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Geto Boys - Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta

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Uploaded on Feb 13, 2009

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When the Geto Boys came together in 1986, though, it was with a completely different lineup. Formed as the Ghetto Boys in Houston by hip-hop entrepreneur James "Li'l J" Smith (and signed to his Rap-A-Lot label), the group originally consisted of Prince Johnny C., the Slim Jukebox, and DJ Reddy Red. During 19871988, both Johnny C. and the Jukebox quit, forcing Smith to add a midget dancer-turned-emcee named Bushwick Bill (born Richard Shaw, in Jamaica) and two Rap-A-Lot solo acts: Ackshen (aka Scarface born Brad Jordan, born in Houston) and Willie D (William Dennis, born in Houston).

After the Geto Boys' Grip It! On That Other Level caught the ear of hip-hop impresario Rick Rubin (LL Cool J, Beastie Boys), Rubin re-mixed and re-recorded tracks from the album. He was ready to release it on his Def American label in 1990 through his distribution deal with Geffen Records, which balked at "Mind of a Lunatic," a track that described necrophilia with a murder victim. By late 1990, Rubin had found another distributor, Warner Bros. Records, and the album was released as The Geto Boys that same year.

The Geto Boys' association with controversy was far from over, though: hip-hop groups were a hot topic for moral-minded politicians during the early 1990s, and several leaders used the Geto Boys as an example to decry the state of modern pop-oriented music. The fires were fanned in 1991 with the release of the group's third proper LP, We Can't Be Stopped. Before the release of the album, Bushwick Bill had lost an eye in a shooting incident with his girlfriend, and the cover featured Willie D. and Scarface wheeling Bushwick Bill into an emergency room, with a prominent shot of the damaged eye. Inside the album, proceedings were among the most extreme in the history of American recorded music. Obviously, radio airplay was non-existent, but We Can't Be Stopped was still certified platinum by the RIAA in early 1992—thanks to the underground hit "Mind Playing Tricks on Me," one of the most effective inner-city vignettes in hip-hop history.

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