Geto Boys – Grip It! On That Other Level (1989)Standouts: “Do It Like A G.O.” “Let A Ho Be A Ho” “Mind Of A Lunatic”
The Geto (originally Ghetto) Boys needed some tinkering when Johnny C and Jukebox left after their debut album, Making Trouble, dropped in 1988. In came a dancer-turned rapper named Bushwick Bill and a sullen, self-aware spitter named Scarface to join Willie D, and thus the iconic Houston rap group was formed. They became Rap-A-Lot’s biggest act after this album, and Rick Rubin loved the album so much that he bought the rights and reissued Grip It! as Geto Boys for Def Jam.
There’s no huge hit attached to the album. Instead, three guys who have been thrown together as Rap-A-Lot’s flagship crew find a way to balance out each other – three solo Scarface songs, two solo Willie D songs, one solo Bushwick Bill song. The album was a mission statement for both the label and the group that broadcasted one simple message: “We’re gonna fuck you up." DJ Ready Red provides most of the pulsing, sample-heavy production, and by the last track on the album, we get a glimpse of just how progressive the Geto Boys were.
In '89, “Mind of a Lunatic” was one of the first examples of any rap act addressing their own mental instability. To break the wall of a rapper’s braggadocio and reveal brutal honesty allowed the Geto Boys to become one of the greatest and most important rap groups of all time.