Friday, February 11, 2011

Geto Boys: Uncut Dope (1992)


This music video collection reminds me just how plastic and pop everything has turned over the past 20 years, as if no one any longer bothers to do anything but shop and party all the time, like we all live in a television commercial 365 days a year. Contrast such empty cheese with the Geto Boys circa 1992 and it’s practically laughable just how much more honest with ourselves we used to be. For instance, the Geto Boys were the kind to tell us straight out that it’s the government that’s bringing drugs into the community in the first place, both poisoning one group of users and imprisoning yet another group of dealers at the same time.

There was no apology to the Geto Boys’ approach. It was blunt and brutal truth, put to music in a way that moved you to care. The video to “A Minute to Pray and a Second to Die” pits Scarface addressing an assembly of young, serious men with a cautionary tale about the fleeting nature of the street hustle. Bushwick Bill tells his own story, the one about how he lost his eye, in excruciating detail with his video for “Ever So Clear”. In similar fashion, the frantic vibe to the Geto Boys’ most famous song “My Mind’s Playing Tricks on Me” is captured to perfection with Willie D “peeping around corners” and the whole bit.

Possibly, you remember seeing some of these videos back when they first aired, if they ever aired (I don’t recall ever seeing the video for “Dot It Like a G.O.” back in the day, and I lived in Houston when it dropped…hmm.). But unless you’ve watched this tape, you’ve likely never seen the video for Bushwick’s “Chucky” which endures as one of the most twisted songs in the history of rap. Uncut Dope also features a decent amount of overhead footage from a jam-packed Geto Boys concert that runs in segments between videos. No wonder rap music sold as well as it did back in the early ‘90’s. Not only was it giving us something new musically, but it actually had coherent substance to it as well…imagine that!

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