So, for reasons I will never understand, YouTube Music – where I do most of my listening to new music – only has the “screwed” version of this album. I didn’t know that meant something and so I listened to it. And I was extremely confused as you might imagine. I knew I had at least attempted to listen to a Geto Boys album before, and I didn’t recall them slowing down their voices. But then “Punk-Bitch Game” came on, clearly live, and even on that their voices were slow. And I was like, maybe they just naturally rap this slow? Is that possible?
Fortunately, I did a very limited amount of research and discovered that this was a weird trend in the early ’90s. (Why? I have no idea.) So I eventually found a correct copy, Though it does mean that my first listen was to the wrong thing.
This is one of those hip hop records where I’m not sure what to do. It’s got mixed reviews but was covered in Check the Technique so it feels like it’s a big deal. I’ve only listened to later southern hip hop and I gotta say that I don’t yet hear some of the really distinctive things that I associate with it. That could just be my lack of knowledge – and, anyway, these things evolve.
As with basically all hip hop in these subgenres, it’s a bit of a chore for me to appreciate that technique when I don’t love the lyrics. But it’s pretty clear why at least one of these guys is a bit of a legend. And the meta stuff is amusing. (Like when one of them wonders where the drums are, which is probably my favourite part of the album.)
The production is fine, a little less interesting than I would like, but certainly better than some stuff from this year. It skews a little sparse and simple but it’s certainly less slick than it could be.
But I really don’t know what to do here. Not everyone loves it (perhaps because of that cover…) but it’s clearly considered a classic. But I find gangsta/horrorcore to just not be my thing at all. (And “Punk Bitch Game” is dumb.) And even though there’s a little more to this than those labels would imply, it’s just even less my thing than some hip hop.
PS Check out the story behind the cover. It’s nuts and super exploitive.