Last week when the Press talked to Geto Boys MC/advice columnist Willie D before the hometown date of the legendary Houston trio's “Office Space” tour, he didn't say much about the recent rumors that they've been working on new music, beyond some trash-talking about the current state of hip-hop: “Hip-hop is ghost, man," he said. "It’s way too easy to get into the game, and that’s why it’s so diluted.” Turns out the Boys are a lot further along that road than Willie let on. (We ain't mad at him, though.)
Monday, the group announced not only the title of their new LP, Habeas Corpus (Latin for “produce the body”), but the means with which the unsigned trio plans to pay for what would be their first LP since 2005's The Foundation: a Kickstarter campaign going on now. Answering only to their backers means no more meddling label executives, Willie told Rolling Stone.
“We're gonna go the fuck off on the new album," the rapper said. "If it scared David Geffen back in 1990, it's gonna ruffle a few feathers in 2015.”
The smaller tiers of the campaign are pretty standard stuff: membership in the GB fan club and a “Behind the Scenes” email blast about the making of Habeas ($5); an advance download of the album, including a bonus track ($15); a limited-edition hardbound CD plus vintage photo book and prerecorded thank-you call from the Geto Boys ($25); an exclusive T-shirt plus the album ($45); and an “intimate listening party” NYC for the record ($55).
But when you start forking over money by the “rack,” to use Willie's term, the incentives get a lot more interesting. Check these out for $3,000:
BARHOP WITH BUSHWICK BILL: In Atlanta or your city. Hang with Bushwick Bill for one unforgettable night. Everybody who has ever hung out with Bill has a wild story (some have many). Choose this reward tier and file yours in the, “Gotta tell the grandkids about this one” category. Travel and hotel expenses must be paid for by backer, if applicable. You'll get a 12-inch Vinyl (colored — red, blue, or yellow depending on the availability) of the first single from our Habeas Corpus album — Limited Edition (Street & Radio version) and a CD of our new album Habeas Corpus (Autographed). You'll also receive an advanced digital download of our new album Habeas Corpus and prerecorded thank-you phone call from the Geto Boys.
WILLIE D WILL HOST YOUR PARTY & ENDORSE YOUR BRAND: Willie D will tweet your brand or company, post pictures on his Instagram and Facebook accounts for three (3) weeks.The event cannot be held at a residential location, must be booked as a private event, and is subject to approval. That means you cannot get your graphics guy to design a flyer, post it on social media, sell tickets, and scream, “Party over here!” You couldn’t possibly get a deal that sweet for 3 racks. The party should be private and made available only to people who you know personally (limit 100 people). This an exclusive offer for our Kickstarter backers. Please plan on scheduling the event somewhere between the next 6-12 months. Travel and hotel expenses must be paid for by backer, if applicable. (Also includes 12-inch vinyl, advance download and thank-you call.)
PLAY GOLF WITH SCARFACE: Hit the range for one round (18 holes) of golf with Scarface + receive customized Geto Boys Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls "12-pack" signed by Mr. Scarface. Ever wondered what it would be like to win a Par-3 on the 16th hole by hitting your tee shot 10 feet from the pin against your favorite rapper? Well here’s your chance to find out! Scarface loves golf so much that he’s taking on all comers. Travel and hotel expenses must be paid for by backer, if applicable. (Also includes 12-inch vinyl, advance download and thank-you call.)
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Act quickly, though — the above premium packages are limited to the first two donors per incentive. At $5,000, five lucky fat-cats will get the “Ultimate Backstage Experience,” which includes hanging out with the group in their dressing room before the show, access to the afterparty and even performing your favorite song with them onstage during the show. But even that pales in comparison to the $10,000 prize — a custom-designed GB casket in which to kick it until the end of time. Read on:
The Geto Boys will buy your box (casket), design an image for your box, and commission a dope artist to paint a mural of the Geto Boys covering your entire carbon steel box (Includes a custom engraved Geto Boys signature plate.) You will also receive a custom embroidered Geto Boys autographed pillow designed by Willie D, Scarface, and Bushwick Bill to lay your head on so that you can rest in peace for all eternity. This is that true once in a lifetime gift that you can give to yourself or a loved one who is a diehard Geto Boys fan.
Sounds a bit morbid? Not if you consider the fact that death is the most certain thing in the world that all of us will someday experience. Since you're guaranteed to die anyway, why not go out like you lived – in style? You don't have to be suicidal, or crazy to make your own funeral arrangements; we made ours. Okay, maybe that's not saying much, but we don't think you should allow an ancient taboo to prevent you from controlling how you want to look at your personal viewing party. Whether you're planning ahead for your own funeral or need to put a loved one to rest, the Geto Boys will be there for you Till Death Do Us Part. Travel and hotel expenses must be paid for by backer, if applicable. (Needless to say, also includes 12-inch vinyl, advance download and thank-you call.)
The estimated delivery date of the album is March 2016, and the deadline for the campaign is July 15. As of 4 p.m. Monday, the Boys had raised only $277, but that's without turning up any promotional heat at all. Does anyone think that come March we won't all be jamming a new Geto Boys album? This has got to happen, if only because the idea of those personalized prerecorded thank-you calls is too perfect to fail.