September 23, 2014

Geto Boys "Press Kit" (1990)

"Let's get a couple things straight. One, The Geto Boys are not obscene. The Geto Boys rap about the obscene: poverty, racism, growing up in a climate of fear, brutality, and neglect. Two, the Geto Boys are mad. Not just about the recent flap over their new self-titled Def American Recordings' album, but deep mad about the world around them. And anger is a scary thing. Their music can be scary too... They're wake up calls meant to shake up deaf Americans... Despite their fury, they are truly thoughtful and reflective young men. If anyone expects The Geto Boy to apologize for songs like "Fuck 'Em" or "Let a Ho Be A Ho," which unleash torrents of expletives in a blaze of profane glory, forget it. "All we do is speak for the black struggle," says Willie D. "Because of that, they say we're racist and sexist, or condoning violence. These are the same people that go out and watch Rambo blow up an army." ... "Stick a man in the 5th ward, and he'll learn how to think," says Bushwick Bill. All four were tough, got into trouble regularly, and were headed for lives of crime. Yet they were saved. "What we did," says Willie D., "is take all the bad things that happened to us, and formed them into art." The band, in its earlier incarnations, was the very first to develop the Gangsta Style of rap, predating even N.W.A. They became the hottest rap act in Houston, selling thousands of records throughout the mid-south, midwest, and panhandle regions." Cont'd below...

"With the new line-up complete, the next development came when Rick Rubin, founder of Def American Recordings and Def Jam Records, became interested in collaborating with the Geto Boys. The new album combines the very best of previously released Geto Boys songs as well as new songs, entirely remixed with additional production by Rubin... When Digital Audio Disc Corporation declined to manufacture, and Geffen Records refused to release The Geto Boys this summer, a new chapter had been written in the sinister story of recent American censorship. It marked the first time a manufacturer and distributor refused to press and ship a rap album based on lyrical content alone, and it put the Geto Boys under the national media spotlight. All sorts of media observers, label executives and industry pundits commented, but no one ever seemed to ask the Geto Boys for their opinions. Says Willie D., "It was funny to me. We've been together less than a year, and already we're making history." Added Bushwick Bill, "We do not curse for the sake of cursing. We're only stressing what goes on around us. It's like them people have us under a microscope." The microscope is flawed however, because practically none of the self-appointed judges of the Geto Boys' music have actually heard it... As long as young black men and women find in rap an artistic outlet for their frustrations and expressions, rap will thrive... It has indeed paid off. The Geto Boys have reshaped the twisted aspects of their past into something steel-hard and razor-sharp. For people not afraid of getting cut, there are many rewards to be found in the music of the Geto Boys. You just have to listen. Hey, it's only a record. It won't kill you." - Press Kit, September 1990.