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New 33 1/3 Title Coming Spring 2016: The Geto Boys

geto boys

Bloomsbury is extremely proud to announce the seventh of fourteen new 33 1/3 volumes…coming to a bookstore (and kindle/iPad) near you in: Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016 and Fall 2016. It was extremely difficult to select these titles from a pool of over 400 brilliant proposals so we hope you enjoy! To highlight each new title and the author behind it, we’ll announce one book each day over the next two weeks.

The Geto Boys – The Geto Boys

By Rolf Potts

Coming April 2016!

At the outset of summer in 1990, a Houston gangsta rap group called the Geto Boys was poised to debut its self-titled third album under the guidance of hip-hop guru Rick Rubin. What might have been a low-profile remix release from a little-known corner of the rap universe began to make headlines when the album’s distributor refused to work with the group, citing its violent and depraved lyrics. When The Geto Boys was finally released, chain stores refused to stock it, concert promoters canceled the group’s performances, and Rolling Stone critic Robert Christgau declared the group “sick motherfuckers.”

For the Geto Boys, few developments could have been more fortuitous. Within a week of the album’s release it had sold 150,000 copies, and — a quarter of a century later — the album is now considered a hardcore classic, having left an immutable influence on gangsta rap, horror-core, and the rise of Southern hip-hop.

Charting the rise of the Geto Boys from the earliest days of Houston’s rap scene, Rolf Potts documents a moment in music history when hip-hop was beginning to replace rock as the transgressive sound of American youth. In creating an album that was both sonically innovative and unprecedentedly vulgar, the Geto Boys were accomplishing something that went beyond music. To paraphrase a sentiment from Don DeLillo, this group of young men from Houston’s Fifth Ward ghetto had figured out the “language of being noticed” — which is, in the end, the only language America understands.

A bit about the author: Rolf Potts has reported from more than 60 countries for the likes of The New Yorker, The Believer, Sports Illustrated, Slate, Salon, The Atlantic, National Geographic Traveler, National Public Radio, and the Travel Channel. He is the author of two travel books, Vagabonding and Marco Polo Didn’t Go There.

You can find Rolf here and here.

3 comments

  1. Nice! I was a student at the University of Houston at the time (located in the third ward), and just this little description brings back a lot of memories of the hip-hop scene and the rave scene. I was too young to recognize how amazing it was to see both in action at the time even just from the POV of a consumer.

  2. David Koral

    I’ve still got the cassette, even though none of my cassette players work anymore. (I’ll have to do something about that …) I was obsessed with the Geto Boys’ debut album for a long time – it’s got all the power of the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks and more. I’d love to read Rolf’s book.

  3. Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial infoamrtion to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

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