Geto Boys
Geto Boys

Also known as

Ghetto Boys


Houston, Texas, U.S.


Hip hop, gangsta rap, horrorcore, Southern hip hop

Years active

1987-1999, 2002-2019


Rap-A-Lot Records (1987-2005)
Def American Recordings (1990)

Associated acts

5th Ward Boyz, Convicts, Ganksta N-I-P, Too Much Trouble

Past members

Geto Boys (originally spelled Ghetto Boys) was an American hip hop group from Houston, Texas. The premier act of Rap-A-Lot Records, the Geto Boys earned notoriety for their lyrics covering controversial topics such as misogyny, gore, psychotic experiences, and necrophilia. The Geto Boys experienced success in the 1990s with several certified albums and singles.

Originally formed in 1987, the group's members were assembled by Rap-A-Lot founder James Prince using solo artists on his roster. Though the Geto Boys experienced numerous changes in its members during the group's 30-year existence, its most well-known line-up consisted of Scarface, Bushwick Bill and Willie D. Tensions in the group led to temporary departures and additions, including Big Mike replacing Bushwick Bill in the mid-1990s. After years of disagreements amongst the group, a reunion album with its three best-known members was quashed in 2015 when a crowdfunding attempt failed to raise enough money. A farewell tour was announced in May 2019 following health problems with Bushwick Bill but was canceled shortly before he died the following month.


The original group consisted of rappers Raheem, The Sire Jukebox, and Sir Rap-A-Lot, and they released the single "Car Freak" in 1987. When Raheem and Sir Rap-A-Lot left the group, they were replaced with rapper Prince Johnny C, DJ Ready Red, and hypeman/dancer Bushwick Bill. The group released its debut album, Making Trouble, in 1988, which garnered minor local and regional support. Due to creative differences, The Sire Jukebox and Prince Johnny C departed the group, and two solo artists on the Rap-A-Lot label, Willie D and Scarface, were brought in to complete the group. The group changed their name to Geto Boys, and released the album Grip It! On That Other Level in 1989, which was later ranked by The Source magazine as one of the 100 Best Albums.

Rick Rubin was impressed by the group and wanted to remix some of their songs to create an album on his Def American label. The graphic nature of the group's lyrics caused the original distributor to pull out, and had to be distributed by another label. The album, The Geto Boys, was released in 1990 with the disclaimer "Def American Recordings is opposed to censorship. Our manufacturer and distributor, however, do not condone or endorse the content of this recording, which they find violent, sexist, racist, and indecent."

Their violent and sexually explicit lyrics created a good deal of public controversy as opponents advocated censorship, and they were the victims of a campaign against controversial artists alongside artists such as 2 Live Crew and Ice-T. The call for censorship was fueled by the testimony of two Kansas teenagers, who claimed to be "temporarily hypnotized" by the Geto Boys song "Mind of a Lunatic" when they shot another teenager.

In 1991, the Geto Boys released their fourth album, We Can't Be Stopped, which was later certified platinum by the RIAA. The album cover features the infamous image of Bushwick Bill in a hospital after he had shot himself in the eye during an altercation with his girlfriend. The album is best remembered for the song "Mind Playing Tricks on Me", which features lyrics about paranoia, fear, and violent encounters. Although the group received virtually no radio airplay, the song became a hit and earned the group a following in New York and Los Angeles - markets that were difficult for Southern hip hop artists to enter.

In 1993, Willie D left the group to pursue a solo career, and the group recruited Big Mike to join the group for their album Till Death Do Us Part, which was certified Gold that same year. Willie D later rejoined the group and Big Mike left. The group released their next album, The Resurrection, in 1996.

Da Good da Bad & da Ugly was the group's seventh album and was released in 1998, and was the first album released by the group while Bushwick Bill was not a member, who had left the group to pursue a solo career. The Geto Boys went on a seven-year hiatus, before Scarface, Willie D and Bushwick Bill reunited to release the album The Foundation. In 2015, the group attempted to crowdfund a new album, entitled Habeas Corpus, but it failed to receive enough donations. Scarface announced soon afterward that there will never be another Geto Boys album.

On August 24, 2018, former member DJ Ready Red died at the age of 53, from an apparent heart attack.[1]

Following the stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis of Bushwick Bill in 2019, Scarface and Willie D joined Bill on a farewell tour, titled "The Beginning of a Long Goodbye, The Final Farewell", with a portion of the proceeds being donated to pancreatic cancer awareness. On June 9, 2019, Bushwick Bill died at the age of 52 of pancreatic cancer.


Studio albumsEdit


  • Raheem
  • Sir Rap-A-Lot
  • The Sire Jukebox
1999-2002 Split up or on hiatus


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