GETO BOYS: Getting Hung Up On “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” (from We Can’t Be Stopped 1991)
Geto Boys – ‘We Can’t Be Stopped’ is available @ iTunes.
by Walter Price
Back in 1991, you were kinda oblivious to the world outside of your immediate surroundings. You had a car radio blasting out tracks by Nirvana, U2, R.E.M., and Siouxsie and the Banshees. You thought these artists were just about everything you needed. But you, like myself, were about to lose your social religion. Because a hip-hop trio out of Houston was about to change the game and your perception of what life was about. The Get Boys released their seminal album ‘We Can’t Be Stopped’ and the single, “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”, would bring not only a part of The Lone Star State you knew nothing about into focus but also the agony of mental illness to the forefront of your consciousness.
Being a lower-middle class white guy (born in Houston), I had no idea about the Fifth Ward area of my hometown. So when the Geto Boys came out with this raw examination of the darker side of street life, I was shocked, intrigued and honestly, a bit scared. Cinematic descriptions of paranoia and depression were way beyond what Morrissey and Robert Smith were lamenting from my stereo.
Day by day it’s more impossible to cope
I feel like I’m the one that’s doing dope
Can’t keep a steady hand because I’m nervous
Every Sunday morning I’m in service
Praying for forgiveness
And trying to find an exit out the business
I know the Lord is lookin’ at me
But yet and still it’s hard for me to feel happy
I wasn’t the only one educated by this track. This one would go on to change hip-hop landscapes. Further cementing the South’s place in rap. proving It wasn’t just an East and West Coast thing any longer. Over the years, many have covered, lyric-checked or sampled pieces of this classic single. Mostly out of respect for these H-Town pioneers, some for understanding the power of that Isaac Hayes groove, and others just wanting to capture that immensely powerful drama of the original.
The more I swung, the more blood flew
Then he disappeared and my boys disappeared too
Then I felt just like a fiend
It wasn’t even close to Halloween
It was dark as fuck on the streets
My hands were all bloody, from punching on the concrete
God damn homey
My mind is playing tricks on me
I’ve chosen three of my favorite odes to this 1991 track that would alter the thought processes of millions.
Prodigy – Mac 10 Handle
Ice Cube – When Will They Shoot?
Destiny’s Child (ft. Pras & Wyclef Jean – Illusion
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