Geto Boys member Willie D appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience and shared his experiences with censorship and the iconic We Can't Be Stopped album cover.
Willie D, a member of iconic rap group Geto Boys, joined Joe Rogan on episode of #1570 of The Joe Rogan Experience and shared some of the most historic moments from the Geto Boys’ career.
Being a part of a rap group that rose to fame in the early '90s, music censorship was a burgeoning theme across the media landscape at this time. Willie D recalled the first time the Geto Boys were censored with their self-titled album at the outset of the episode.
"The Geto Boys was the first group to have a manufacturer decline the distribution of our music. We was the first group in music history where a manufacturer said 'we’re not gonna press.'"
Matt Cowan/Getty Images
These restrictions followed them to the stage as well. Willie D goes on to recount a story about The Geto Boys getting prepared to perform in Florida when a city representative came and told them the city manager had changed their minds and they weren’t going to be allowed to perform at all.
"That was the Geto Boys self-titled album. That was ‘92, that was the Rick Rubin remake. The funny thing was that, well it wasn’t funny at the time but-- well it still ain’t funny. You know Geffen Records, David Geffen, he decided that he was not going to distribute our music, but he was cool with distributing Andrew Dice Clay and Guns N Roses. And you know what type of music these guys were doing at that time we’re talking about 1990. So of course man we was like yeah this is censorship and we know why. Wink, wink. You know? We know! That’s why we came with the We Can’t Be Stopped album."
Willie D acknowledged the controversy in their lyrics as the group often tackled topics regarding gore, misogyny, and even necrophilia, However, the OG emphasized that censorship was still more racially charged at that time. And as a man who always had vengeance on his mind, this is what led to the creation of their platinum album We Can’t Be Stopped.
We Can't Be Stopped album cover
The album cover for We Can’t Be Stopped remains an important piece of rap history, as the iconic photograph acted as a middle finger to censorship.
The image features the group in hospital with the late Bushwick Bill, who died from pancreatic cancer in June 2019. Bill was hospitalized after allegedly being shot in the eye by his girlfriend at the time. After the Geto Boys team got word that he was okay, Cliff Blodget, the co-owner of Rap A Lot Records at the time, pushed the group to shoot a picture for their recently finished album.
As Willie D. tells it during the interview:
“And that was done like totally spontaneously. We didn’t-- It was totally unplanned because we had finished the album and then Bushwick gets shot and this would happen a lot with Bushwick Bill. Like, Bill could get a job done, if he had something he had to do he’d get it done, but then after he’d get it done you know something just starts going on. Stuff just starts happening. We finished the album and get a call “Bill got shot!” Go up to the hospital and immediately in my mind you know this is my cowboy western days mind you-- I’m thinking revenge like I don’t care who shot him I’m like let’s get em! So I get to the hospital and I go into the room-- Bill is there he’s kinda dazed but he’s conscious and he’s like “Will, don’t hurt her. I made her do it.” So that was that, you know I checked on him, he was good. He was gonna survive, you know he lost his eye, but he was gonna survive.”
Watch the full episode with Joe Rogan, Willie D. and Mike Judge below.