Mind Playing Tricks on Me

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"Mind Playing Tricks on Me"
Single by Geto Boys
from the album We Can't Be Stopped
Released July 1, 1991 (1991-07-01)
Format CD single
Recorded 1990
Genre Horrorcore
Length 5:11
  • Brad Jordan
  • Doug King
  • William Dennis
  • GTA
Producer(s) Scarface
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Geto Boys singles chronology
"Do It Like a G.O."
"Mind Playing Tricks on Me"
"I Ain't With Being Broke"

"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 posttraumatic stress disorder. 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.[1] It has been regarded as one of the best hip hop songs to come out of the 90's.

Reception and legacy[edit]

"Mind Playing Tricks on Me" has received acclaim over the years. In 2012, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it the fifth greatest hip hop song of all time.[2] The song was rated number 18 in the 100 Greatest Rap Songs by About.com. VH1 ranked the song 82 on its list of 100 Greatest Songs of the 90's[3] and 45 on its list of 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop. Pitchfork Media ranked the song #45 on its Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s list, with reviewer Tom Breihan writing "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."[4] The song was also included in The Pitchfork 500, a book of the greatest 500 songs from '76-'06 published by Pitchfork Media.[5]

The song has also been referenced and sampled by other artists. The Kottonmouth Kings remade the song for their album Hidden Stash II: The Kream of the Krop under the same name. Kryptik & Team Death made a remix of the song for the compilation album "Devil's Nite 2K8" titled "Mind Playing Tricks On Me '08." The Insane Clown Posse also covered this song with Detroit native Anybody Killa and Southern rapper Lil Wyte on The Mighty Death Pop!'s bonus cover album Smothered, Covered & Chunked. Brazilian rapper Gabriel o Pensador sampled "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" in his song "Lavagem Cerebral", from his 1993 album "Gabriel o Pensador". "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" has been referenced by Prodigy, of Mobb Deep fame, in his single, "Mac 10 Handle", by Ice Cube in the song "When Will They Shoot", and by The Clipse, in the song "Nightmares" of their second album, Hell Hath No Fury. The Notorious B.I.G. references "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" and sings the guitar line from the song's chorus (originally sampled from the Isaac Hayes song "Hung up on my Baby") in his hit "One More Chance." In the song "She Lives In My Lap" off the highly successful 2003 OutKast album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, Andre 3000 samples Scarface's vocals from the track. In the track "Walk in the Streets" The Game references the song with the lines: "Must I remind you of that Geto Boy track/ Your mind is playing tricks on you, you'll never go plaque". Game also references the song in his 2010 song "Big Money" with the Hook: "I got big money, I drive big cars, everybody know me, It's like I'm a movie star." In his album The B. Coming, Beanie Sigel, in the highly acclaimed song "Feel it in the Air", recycles a lyric from Scarface's intro to the song - "I sit alone in my four cornered room". Destiny's Child's "Illusion" featuring Wyclef and Pras sampled "Mind Playin' Tricks on Me" on their eponymous 1998 self-titled first album. A vocal sample from the song is used in the song "Big Money, Big Cars" by Killer Mike featuring Chamillionaire and Messy Marv released in 2008 on the I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind II. Jean Grae references Bushwick Bill's dream sequence from "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" in her song "Going Crazy".

Stephan Jenkins of alternative rock band Third Eye Blind said this, along with other rap songs from the early '90s, helped shape Third Eye Blind's hit song "Semi-Charmed Life".[6]

In 2012, in an interview with Complex magazine, American recording artist Kid Cudi cited "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" as his "favorite song in the world" and revealed the song was the inspiration for his hit single "Day 'n' Nite": "I love it so much I wanted to make my own version of it. And then 'Day 'N' Nite' came out of it."[7] Kid Cudi later sampled the song for his third album Indicud (2013), on the track "Beez".

"Mind Playing Tricks on Me" is featured in the in-game radio station West Coast Classics in the video game Grand Theft Auto V.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" (Radio Version)
  2. "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" (Dirty Version)
  3. "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" (Club Version)
  4. "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" (instrumental)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 23
US Hot Rap Singles (Billboard) 1
US Hot R&B Singles (Billboard) 10