'The Resurrection' is the 1996 sixth studio album from The Geto Boys, originally from Houston, Texas, and one of the earliest gangster rap albums I bought. The line up for the group on this album consists of Willie D, Scarface and Bushwick Bill, while the priginal line up consisted of Prince Jonny C, Sire Jukebox; DJ Reddy Red; and Little Billy, the midget dancer who later became known as Bushwick Bill. The album is credited as being some of their best work and was included at no.15 in Chris Rock's top 25 hip-hop albums of all time and currently stands at Gold sales status.
He group have come in for many criticisms for the violence and misogyny in their lyrics, whilst they pushed the barrier further than groups like NWA by talking about pychotic experiences, and even necrophilia, creating what is known today as Horrorcore Rap, a style of music embraced by many bands such as Insane Clown Posse and Esham. Despite these criticisms I would argue that the band are much more thoughtful than people give them credit for, their lyrics do have meanings deep down in the mess of death and violence.
The groups name was originally spelt as Ghetto Boys for the first two albums, but by the 3rd is was changed to Geto Boys, allegedly because of spray painted street sign in North Houston.
1 - Ghetto Prisoner
An interview with imprisoned black rights campaigner Larry Hoover.
2 - Still
To this day one of the most threatening, aggressive, gangster, and just pure hardcore rap songs I've ever heard, with a chorus of - Die muthaf*cker, die muthaf*ucker still' you get an idea of the premise of violence throughout on this one, the base line is pumping heavily constantly, I do like this song, it reminds me of when I was first getting into this music as a youth, the song has almost a cult like following because of the intensity of the lyrics.
Listen - http://www.last.fm/music/Geto+Boys/_/Still
3 - The World Is a Ghetto
The first Geto Boys songs I ever heard (I bought this on cassette single it was so long ago) and still the most thought provoking, the rappers pull no punches here about how bleak life is in the ghettos across America, with lyrics about drug addiction, violence, poverty, and death at a young age, a very deep song, the production matches the lyrics, not overly heavy so the raps are very clear.
4 - Open Minded
A contender with 'Still' for the most hardcore song one here, a very dark song with the premise of violence throughout, not always your normal gangster rap 'I shot ya' type stuff either, talk of decapitations, having a million ways to kill someone, giving someone 'open heart surgery', and watching the police who took Willie D's weed bleed. This isn't the type of song for the easily offended in any way, but for me it's one of the reasons I got into gangster rap, this type of song is an escape, sort of like a violent film or video game.
5 - Killer for Scratch (Interlude)
6 - Hold It Down
The Geto Boys manage to take some laid back beats and turn it into another aggressive track, basically about being a gangster and not slipping, a decent song with beats that only add to the harshness of the lyrics, a very traditional style gangster rap song with that extra edge The Geto Boys bring.
7 - Blind Leading the Blind feat The Menace Clan
Another thought provoking track with some of my favourite beats on the album, the rappers look back at what they could have done differently in life to improve where they are while also looking at the present, a very bleak song which I think it illustrated well in the following lyrics -
My role model sips on a 40 by the window,
Foot steps I follow,
Grab the brew and take a swallow,
I been living on the street since the age of 13
Cause I'm sick of being raised by a dope fiend.
As you can see there's no feel good factor on this track (or much of the album for that matter), I do like songs like this that make me think a bit deeper.
8 - First Light of the Day
Love the piano on this one, a very (you guessed it) violent and bleak song, basically abut street hustling, from drug dealing to robbery and murder, and how the group members are exceeding in it, some great music on this track, the lyrics aren't thought provoking in the slightest but I still like this song.
9 - Time Taker
A reflective track looking at the violence and murder in the ghetto's of America, and the effects on the individuals and communities involved, quite a deep song, love the beats, gangster rappers today would do well to listen back to this before writing the latest pop song with r'n'b singer on.
10 - Geto Boys & Girls
A track telling the story of life growing up in the ghetto, growing up with a gangster for a father, basically more stories of poverty and violence, the beats are pretty laid back which only adds to the lyrics, there isn't really a message in this track, more just a typical gangster rap song.
11 - Geto Fantasy
A track about the groups dreams about getting out the ghetto and becoming rich, and the fact they accomplished it, some nice singing on the chorus, the beats are again low key and effective, nothing special on this one the group haven't done better elsewhere on the album.
12 - I Just Want to Die
A track with only Bushwick Bill rapping, possibly the craziest rapper to ever live, the raps about some psychotic stuff on here, from murder to hearing voices, feeling like a lunatic and shooting his own eye out (which he got a girl to do, really), the beats are pretty heavy, they remind me of 'Natural Born Killas' by Ice Cube and Dr Dre, I like this track and everything about it.
13 - Niggas and Flies
A fairly bouncy track compared to the rest of the album, a song basically about all the people the Geto boys hate, how they treat them and what they'll do to them if provoked, like the piano and the sample, a good song but nothing too special.
14 - A Visit With Larry Hoover (Interlude)
15 - Point of No Return
A pretty aggressive, threatening track to finish the album of with, the group rap faster on this one than any other point on the album, you have to respect the skill involved, Willie D easily comes with the best verse on this track (he usually does in most cases), love the music, very frantic sounding which is matched by the raps. Great song to finish with.
Overall a 9/10 for me, this is one of the most gangster albums ever made, many artists have tried to imitate these guys (and a select group of others) but few can come close to the power of these guys music, this isn't an album to lighten your mood, its dark and bleak from start to finish, it'll be far too hardcore for many, but for me this is one of the classic albums in rap music, there isn't really a track I don't like. Recommended to gangster rap fans, if your not into this style there's very little chance this album will be for you.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Ghetto Prisoner
3 World Is A Ghetto
4 Open Minded
5 Killer For Scratch
6 Hold It Down
7 Blind Leading The Blind
8 First Light Of Day
9 Time Taker
10 Geto Boys And Girls
11 Geto Fantasy
12 I Just Wanna Die
13 Niggas And Flies
14 Visit With Larry Hoover
15 Point Of No Return