As I listen to the new comeback lp by the 5th Ward kings, I try to realize why am I not captivated by the intriguing music, or the straight forward approach that shot one of the most controversial groups out of the clip and into mainstream America's dome.

Maybe it's Scarface's tired and nihilistic while alwayz realistic (Ha! A rhyme!!) obsession with death. Man, every second word he says is about death . Not death of a young homie, a relative or whatever, but the concept of death as an earthly thing. He reminds us that 'we all gotta go' all the time . His graphic details about dead bodies are not useful to describe his sociological message.

Maybe it's Bushwick's twisted yet ingenious theories, his philosophical remarks that tend to be signified out of his gangsta persona like a hoof in a steak. Or, it's Willie D's cheap (though effective and positive) shot's aimed at Rodney King, Clarence Thomas, the NAACP, Bob Dole (Go Willie, Go Willie go!), and countless others.

Musically speakin', and I beg that you forgive me if you don't agree, shit comin' from Houston was always good, but beat wise, they were always a step behind the West Coast. While most West Coast artists try to shake off the G- Funk attack of 1992-1995, The Geto Boys have just been attacked by it and this can be very well looked upon as the first 'Pure G-Funk' lp from the Geto Boys. 'Still' sounds like a 'Natural Born Killaz' remix and 'Hold It Down' sounds like a Daz production. The lyrics are very sharp and they don't tend to rely on cliches (trigga-ni--a-bigga, throw your hands in the air, funky enuff, etc.), mostly, but the subject matter has some lapses and sometimes they jump from subject to subject.

Tracks like 'I Wanna Die' simply shock you. This track, all though it's not one of the brilliant ones, is so nihilistic that you wanna scream very loud. The best tracks are no doubt the remake of the 70's tune 'The World Is A Ghetto', 'Time Taker', 'Ghetto Fantasy'. Although one can see the musical style old, what they do they do on the best side. No question, they're the best of the nihilistic type, and lookin' at the complexity and metaphors, they leave other nihilists like Tupac and South Central Cartel in the dust. Another good thing, is the distinctive voices of the emcees. You can't get mixed up. Scarface has the slow drawl with nonmonotonious line enders, goin' down shit. Willie is very Southern and very straight. Bushwick makes you think. This is certainly a good album. Good, not captivating.

written by
El Surround

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