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Geto Boys Biography

Home > Music > G > Geto Boys > Biography

Birth Place: Houston, Texas, U.S.
Years Active: 1986–present
Genres: Hip Hop

Geto Boys (originally spelled Ghetto Boys) is a rap group from Houston, Texas, consisting of Scarface, Willie D and Bushwick Bill. The Geto Boys earned notoriety for its lyrics which included misogyny, gore, psychotic experiences, and necrophilia. The Geto Boys established themselves with their soulful southern sound (a precursor to the Dirty South style).

The group’s name, Geto Boys, comes from a deliberate misspelling of the word Ghetto. For its first album “Making Trouble” (1988) and its second, “Grip It! On That Other Level” (1989), the spelling was the standard "Ghetto Boys." For its third album, “The Geto Boys,” they changed it to the "Geto" spelling, which the group has used since.

The original Ghetto Boys consisted of Prince Johnny C, The Slim Jukebox, DJ Ready Red and Little Billy, the dancer who later came to be known as Bushwick Bill. The group released an album titled “Making Trouble” in 1988, which got very little attention. The group broke up shortly after and a new line-up was put together with the inclusion of Scarface and Willie D, both aspiring solo artists.

The group’s 1990 album “The Geto Boys” was a compilation, consisting mainly of ten tracks taken from its 1989 album “Grip It! On That Other Level” (most of them remixed), as well as two new songs and one song from its debut LP, “Making Trouble.”

A high-profile incident in which Bushwick Bill lost an eye in a shooting with his girlfriend helped boost sales of its third album, “We Can't Be Stopped.” The album cover had a picture of the injured Bushwick being carted through a hospital by Scarface and Willie D. The album featured the single "Mind Playing Tricks on Me", which became a hit in the hip-hop community and even charted well on the pop charts, reaching #23 on the Billboard Hot 100.

All three members began solo careers, but Willie D. was the only one who actually left the group. Scarface and Bushwick Bill continued with the Geto Boys, adding Big Mike for “Till Death Do Us Part” in 1993 which was certified gold and spawned one Top 40 hit in "Six Feet Deep", which peaked at #40 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Subsequently, Big Mike was dropped and Willie D. returned for 1996's critically acclaimed “The Resurrection” and 1998's “Da Good Da Bad & Da Ugly” which Bushwick was not a part of.

The Geto Boys' popularity was boosted in 1999 by the prominent use of two songs—"Damn it Feels Good to Be a Gangsta" (released as a promotional single for the 1992 compilation album “Uncut Dope”) and "Still" (from “The Resurrection”)—in Mike Judge's film “Office Space.”

After years on hiatus, the group reunited to release its seventh album, “The Foundation,” in 2005.