Today’s post is a friendly reminder of the many holes that exist in my collection. We Can’t Be Stopped is actually the fourth full length release from the Geto Boys, yet it’s the only GB’s album in my collection.
By the time We Can’t Be Stopped was released the GB’s had already made significant changes to their line up. The original roster consisted of :Prince Johnny C, The Sire Jukebox (not to be confused with the Human Beatbox), Sir Rap-A-Lot (not to be confused with Sir Mix-A lot), Raheem (not to be confused with Prince Raheem), Bushwick Bill, and DJ Ready Red (not to be confused with DJ Red Alert). By the time they released their debut album Making Trouble on the independent (and eventually legendary) Rap-A-Lot Records imprint in 1988, Raheem and Sir Rap-A-Lot had already parted ways with the group. Shortly after Making Trouble was released The Sire Jukebox (a very corny alias, by the way) and Prince Johnny C left the group, leaving just Bushwick and Ready Red from the original roster. Scarface and Willie D, who both had solo deals with Rap-A-Lot at the time, were asked to join the GBs by label head James Prince, to which both parties agreed. These four would go on to release the next three Geto Boys albums together: Grip It! On That Other Level, The Geto Boys, and today’ subject We Can’t Be Stopped. The roster changes would continue: Ready Red would leave the group shortly after We Can’t Be Stopped was released, both Willie D and Bushwick left temporarily, and Big Mike was even added to the team for a short stint. Out of the eight Geto Boys studio albums released to date not one member has been a part of all eight albums. In other words, their roster has seen more changes than the Cleveland Browns have seen at quarterback in the last 25 years.
While Grip It! On That Other Level is considered by many (including The Source who in 1998 went back and gave it a 5 mic rating and put it on their 100 greatest hip-hop albums list) We Can’t Be Stopped would earn the GB’s their first platinum plaque and still managed to be praised critically.
The picture used for the album cover of We Can’t Be Stopped was taken at the hospital after an altercation between Bushwick and his girlfriend left him without his right eye (a topic which he would cover in-depth a year later on his solo record “Ever So Clear”). Bushwick has gone on record saying that the pic was Willie D’s idea and he and Scarface just went along with it (and by the uncomfortable look in Scarface’s eyes I can believe that).
Rebel Rap Family – This is nothing but a nonsensical overly dramatic rambling posing as a rap album intro.
We Can’t Be Stopped – This one is dedicated to Geffen Records who refused to distribute their previous release Grip It! On That Other Level, do to its controversial content. There is a 4th rapper who spits about 4 bars, whom I think may be Ready Red? If anybody knows for sure, hit me in the comments. Nice start to the show, and they get the title song out the way in the process.
Homie Don’t Play That – Willie D’s first solo joint borrows it’s title from Homie Da Clown’s signature slogan (which is the second reference to him in the last three post). Willie D might be the funniest rapper of all time, and what makes him even more amusing is he’s not deliberately trying to me funny. The funked out instrumental may be doing too much but Willie D’s angry rants will make you laugh at least once.
Another N*gger In The Morgue – Scarface gets his first solo joint of the evening which he uses to go on a killing spree. Not my favorite Face song, but the guitar licks leading into the hooks are sick.
Chuckie – Wrapping up the first round of solo joints is Bushwick Bill. Bushwick goes the horrorcore route as he takes on the persona (and name) of the evil redheaded doll from the Child’s Play movies. The instrumental attempts to sound scary/eerie but it just comes off as cheesy instead.
Mind Playing Tricks On Me – Without question, one of the 10 greatest hip-hop songs of all time. The GB’s sample Isaac Hayes’ “Hung Up On My Baby” and over the course of four verses cover everything from paranoia to full-blown mental illness. The GB’s biggest hit, and rightfully so. Dark and brilliant.
I’m Not A Gentleman – More Willie-D stand up comedy. It’s been years since I’ve listened to We Can’t Be Stopped but I still lol every time I hear this song. Willie D’s content is juvenile but very entertaining. Guilty pleasure.
Gota Let Your Nuts Hang – In Scarface’s world letting your nuts hang translates to becoming a big time drug dealer, hence the reason he shares Tony Montana’s alias. I never cared for this song (lyrics or instrumental). I’ve always been more a fan of Face’s introspective/reflective side as opposed to his “in your face cocky gangsta” persona.
F**K A War – This was recorded around the time that George Bush’s Gulf War was wrapping up. Bushwick (who is on record for giving Willie D credit for writing this song)makes it clear that under absolutely no condition would he ever enlist in any branch of the U.S. military. I didn’t care much for the instrumental, which sounds like a poor Bomb Squad imitation. Speaking of war, Bill sounds like he’s battling the up-tempo beat, never quite gaining control of it as it drowns out his vocals and he never manages to keep pace with it.
Ain’t With Being Broke – I believe this was the second single released from We Can’t Be Stopped. Our hosts discuss their disdain for poverty, which I’m sure most of the world will agree with. Bushwick’s line about his mom not being able to afford milk so “he had to suck her titty” was both funny and sad. I’ve never really cared for this song do in large part to the cheesy instrumental and the annoying singing on the hook. Not much has changed today.
Quickie – Scarface uses the same sample used on 3 Times Dope’s classic “Funky Dividends” record as the backdrop for this instrumental as he discusses a quickie mission that doesn’t quite go as planned. Well done.
Punk B**** Game – Skit
The Other Level – Bushwick uses his last solo joint of the evening to share a tale of ménage trios, or as he calls it “the other level”. The GB’s borrow Diana Ross’ “Love Hangover”, giving it a Chopped & Screwed feel before the term Chopped & Screwed even existed. The slower pace beat works well for Bushwick as he sounds smoother than usual and keeps you hanging on to his every word. This song is best described as rap porn. Very entertaining.
Trophy – Willie D uses the final song of the evening to express his angst with the powers that be that overlook the GBs at the award shows. The song opens with a sound bite from Flavor Flav saying “who gives a fuck about a Grammy”, to which Willie angrily response that he does. Willie continues his mad rapper tantrum, and even gives the middle finger to Oscar, Emmy, and Tony (even though these awards are given out for a completely different art form). Willie D’s animation will make you ignore the below average instrumental playing underneath his verses.
We Can’t Be Stopped is an interesting enigma: With the exception of a few bangin’ instrumentals, most of the album’s production is sonically inferior. Willie D, Bushwick Bill and yes, even Scarface, are not the greatest lyricists, either (I’m sure I’ll catch some flack for saying that about Scarface but I’m open to debate it). Even with these cons, Willie D, Bushwick Bill, and Scarface still manage to keep We Can’t Be Stopped very entertaining. Be it comic relief, over the top absurdity, and occasionally some thought-provoking shit, for the most part this album will hold your attention and keep you entertained. When discussing the greatest southern hip-hop albums of all time We Can’t Be Stopped can definitely be included in the discussion.