Geto Boys

Making Trouble

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As the seldom-heard, mostly unknown original Geto Boys album -- back when they were still the "Ghetto" Boys -- Making Trouble should interest strictly enthusiasts of the Houston group, if that, and probably only to a slight extent. At this point, back in 1988, around the time when James Smith (then known as Lil' J) first launched his Rap-a-Lot label, the group had an entirely different lineup comprised of DJ Ready Red, Prince Johnny C, and the Slim Jukebox. Scarface and Willie D hadn't yet joined the group, and Bushwick Bill was just the hypeman/dancer. Furthermore, the group hadn't yet found a novel identity for themselves, as they essentially emulate Run-D.M.C. here -- two MCs/one DJ, heavy metal guitar riffs, fat gold chains, top hats, and everything. The most interesting moment here comes in "My Balls and My Word," where samples from Brian De Palma's film Scarface are worked into the beats, unknowingly foreshadowing the group's future under the leadership of Mr. Scarface himself. Of the original Ghetto Boys, DJ Ready Red stands out most as the group's Jam Master Jay, cutting up the wax with quite astonishing ability while Prince Johnny C and the Slim Jukebox trade off "we will rock you"-style rhymes. By all means, avoid this album if you're a newcomer and start with the later Geto Boys albums, particularly the self-titled one (1990) and We Can't Be Stopped (1991), as Making Trouble is merely a novelty that even the most die-hard fans may find of little value. [Rap-a-Lot re-released Making Trouble at various points over the years, including in 1991 (with Priority distribution) and 1995 (Virgin), and repackaged the album to reflect the group's later name change to "the Geto Boys."]

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