Sunday, June 28, 2015

F#@* 'Em

With the 25th anniversary of the Geto Boys' eponymous Def American debut looming, I decided to take a cue from a fellow blogger and add another entry into the "Songs Someone Taught Us" series. The year was 1990 and Def American released quite possibly the finest rap record in history. The Geto Boys. Sure, "Ghetto" Boy purists consider it more of a remix album then a legit new LP (although other than possibly "Size Ain't Shit" all of the Grip It! On That Other Level tracks were revamped and re-edited into vastly superior versions) - it still stands as the group's best work and a standard for pretty much any other hip-hop album to aspire. I was surprised to learn how much material was sampled to create The Geto Boys, while mostly funk tracks featuring James Brown as vocalist (or in some other major role) there are some real surprises once you deconstruct the songs. Billy Squier? "My Girl"? After listening to the album over and over while culling the below tracks I now can't hear a sample without thinking of its origin. So while this is not quite a collection of originals that a band covered (à la my previous Metallica and GG Allin posts) it's a window into what D.J. Ready Red's record collection must have looked like and got that Houston studio bumping way back in 1989.

Here's the song-by-song breakdown:

A1. Fuck 'Em
        • "Breakthrough” by Isaac Hayes
        • "Rocket In The Pocket (Live)" by Cerrone
        • "Kool Is Back" by Funk, Inc.
A2. Size Ain't Shit
        • "Blow Your Head" by Fred Wesley And The J.B.'s
        • "Mt. Airy Groove" by Pieces Of A Dream
A3. Mind Of A Lunatic
        • "Givin' Up Food For Funk" by The J.B.
        • "Funky Drummer" by James Brown
        • "Batman: Stacked Cards" by Joey Lapidos
A4. Gangster Of Love
        • "The Joker" by Steve Miller Band
        • "I Walk On Gilded Splinters" by Johnny Jenkins
A5. Trigga Happy Nigga
        • "Memphis Soul Stew" by King Curtis
        • "Love The Life You Live" by Kool And The Gang
A6. Life In The Fast Lane
        • "The Big Bang Theory" by Parliament
        • "Girl In The Hot Pants" by The Soul Brothers Inc.
        • "The Big Beat" by Billy Squier
A7. Assassins
        • "Apache" by Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band
B1. Do It Like A G.O.
        • "Superfly" by Curtis Mayfield
        • "Apache" by Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band
        • "Scorpio" by Dennis Coffey And The Detroit Guitar Band
        • "Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved" by James Brown
B2. Read These Nikes
        • "It Takes Two" by Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock
        • "You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight" by Fred Wesley And The J.B.'s
        • "Funky Drummer" by James Brown
        • "Funky President (People It's Bad)" by James Brown
        • "My Girl" by The Temptations
        • "Batman: Stacked Cards" by Joey Lapidos
B3. Talkin' Loud Ain't Saying Nothin'
        • "Talkin' Loud & Sayin' Nothing" by James Brown
        • "Skin Tight" by Ohio Players
        • "Theme From The Planets" by Dexter Wansel
        • "South Bronx" by Boogie Down Productions
B4. Scarface
        • "Blues & Pants" by James Brown
        • "Ashley's Roachclip" by The Soul Searchers
        • "Gimmie What You Got" by Le Pamplemousse
        • "Different Strokes" by Syl Johnson
B5. Let a Ho Be A Ho
        • "Money" by Pink Floyd
        • "Impeach The President" by The Honey Drippers
B6. City Under Siege
        • "The Message From The Soul Sisters" by Myra Barnes
        • "Think (About It)" by Lyn Collins
        • "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony)" by The Hillside Singers

For those with sharp eyes, yep there's a children's Batman 7" record on the list. Packaged with a comic book, it was a 70's vinyl version of the "Read-And-Listen" shit kids have loaded on their iPads today. It supplies all of the "he's a paranoic who's a menace to our society" samples  - which up to this day I assumed were from some obscure B-movie. Who in the Geto Boys owned that record? I debated including it since it runs a little long but was so surprised at the discovery I felt I had to. And upon listening to this catalog you'll find that it could have sufficed as sample material for a whole multitude of famous rap songs from back in the day (Public Enemy being one of the more consistent repeat clients). While some of the tunes are far from something I'd listen to on a daily basis, all have their moments, and most of the funk stuff is truly amazing. Interestingly, I just read a somewhat recent interview with Scarface in which he pledges a Geto Boys reunion LP if Rick Rubin would produce. Rick, are you reading?

7/11/15 update: Since my latest post was actually for Mr. Scarface Is Back I went ahead and updated the "album" cover for this one. Looks a ton better in my opinion. Enjoy.

Part I                                        Part II                                        Part III


Pete said...

Bonus track from one of my favorite soundtracks. This was used on the Scarface album.

winston95 said...

Awesome bro. I'm thinking about doing a sample comp for "Mr. Scarface" as well - this is a great start. Thanks man.