On International Men’s Day, The Ghetto Boys’ Hit Tune Weighs Heavily On My Mind
Hip-hop has been through several stages in its fifty year existence.
It has gone from being a politically conscious art form to being violently misogynistic and so much more.
Long before the likes of Drake came along and spoke about their feelings, we had solo artists and groups in the 90s, who had no compunction in putting it all out there.
And one of such groups was The Ghetto Boys.
What was interesting about this collective was that they didn’t come from the east or the west coast, but from the south.
Unlike the other group from the south — 2 live Crew — whose music unashamedly raunchy and sexually explicit, The Ghetto Boys or Geto Boys, as they later became, were quite political.
And their signature tune—My Mind’s Playing Tricks on Me — was extraordinarily powerful.
So what was song about?
It was about grown men speaking candidly about their mental health struggles: Post traumatic, stress disorder, anxiety, suicidal ideation, paranoia and anxiety.
The song in question came in 1992, a time when folks weren’t exactly known for talking about their feelings and yet, it was a huge hit then.
And here we are in 2023, with the themes raised in the song being powerfully relevant as ever.
Today is the international men’s day and far too many blokes are staring into the abyss.
Incel culture has filled a void which sports, friendships and the wider society cannot fill and the results are there for everyone to see.
Feelings of helplessness, inadequacy, substance abuse, addiction are doing a huge number on billions of men around the world.
If we were any good at seeking help, half of our problems wouldn’t exist.
And this is where I consider myself especially fortunate.
Writing does provide an outlet for me to express my deep fears about the world, climate change, my slightly enlarged prostate and life in general.
But not everyone has the privilege.
And until we get to a point, when men can freely express their emotions, without worrying about being mocked, we must have serious work to do.
Happy international, men’s day.