Houston rap veteran Scarface’s grandmother has come forward to reveal that she, in fact, is the primary motivation for the Geto Boys‘ 1991 classic, “Mind Playing Tricks on Me.”
In addition to sparking the song, the rapper’s grandmother also said she suggested Face tone down his profanity.
“He came to the room. I think I was just mumbling to myself, my lips were working or something, and he said, ‘Mama, what you talkin’ about?’ I said, ‘Oh, nothing, my mind’s just playing tricks on me,’ ” the rapper’s grandmother told MTV News as her famous grandson looked on. “I didn’t have no idea he was gonna go out and make a song about it.” While the world loved the Geto Boys’ breakout single, Mama ‘Face had a little problem with the profane language. “When I heard it and he came out with it, I tell you the truth, it just overflowed me, I tell ya, and then I heard some little ol’ words to it, and I thought I’d bring it to his attention,” she said before she told MTV News the advice she then shared with her rapping grandson: “Now that you got your foot in the door, clean your act up a little bit.” (MTV)
The record is considered a hip-hop classic and was a featured song off music publication Pitchfork’s Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s.
Thanks to Bushwick Bill‘s giddily demonic robbing-trick-or-treaters verse (and his even more unhinged turn in the video), “Tricks” has a rep as a Halloween classic, rap’s own “Monster Mash” or something. And yes, it’s both silly and legit creepy, watching this dwarf rapper chase kids around. But this is a song that starts with Scarface meditating on “visions of bodies being burned”– it’s no novelty record. Beyond Bill’s bloody knuckles, we get Scarface contemplating suicide and Willie D imagining headlights in his rearview. Every verse works as a window into a fatalistic mentality, as all three rappers naturally assume that death is around the corner. Meanwhile, Scarface’s Isaac Hayes-derived creepy-crawl beat lays the foundation for generations of psychedelic Houston thump. Before “Tricks”, the only Southern rap to dent national consciousness was 2 Live Crew‘s cartoonish sex rhymes. This track established the South as a serious force in the music, proving that these Texans could do dark better than anyone on either coast. (Pitchfork)
Scarface’s hit record also performed well commercially.
“Mind Playing Tricks on Me” is a single by the Geto Boys, featured on their 1991 album We Can’t Be Stopped. The lyrics used within describe various mental states such as hallucination, delusion and paranoia. The sample used in the song is ‘Hung Up On My Baby’ by Isaac Hayes from his 1974 film Tough Guys. It was the only number-one single (chart: Hot Rap Singles) ever released by the Geto Boys. It reached #23 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the highest charting single by the Geto Boys. It was also certified Gold by the RIAA. It has been regarded as one of the best hip hop songs to come out of the 90’s. (Wikipedia)
After spending a stint behind bars in a child support case, Scarface performed in his native Houston, Texas hometown last September.
Getting back into the swing of things, DMX performed at the House of Blues last night. During his set, X brought out Scarface and once again said Face was one of two rappers who he really respects (the other is Nas). He also revealed Face’s song “Will I Ever Be Born Again” helped him get through Aaliyah’s death, but I think X was really talking about “In My Time,” off Last of a Dying Breed. (Miss Info TV)
Check out “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” below: