Thursday, May 7, 2009

Track of the Week: Ghetto Cowboy by Mo Thugs Family

I grew up watching Westerns and love the genre. The romanticized stories of the Old West really appeal to me. But I never expected a rap song to venture into Old West mode. Obviously it would sound stupid, one would think. And yet, listening to "Ghetto Cowboy" it works especially well. The song appeared on Mo Thugs Family's 1998 record "Chapter II: Family Reunion."

The strangest thing about the song, even stranger than rappers from out east doing a song about the Old West (Bo Diddley, from Mississippi, already did a song about being a gunslinger at the O.K. Corral, where the famous gunfight took place in Arizona in 1881), is the lack of cussing. I have a bunch of Bone Thugs 'n' Harmony records and they cuss, liberally. Not a big deal, but out of character. Also, a rap song featuring a harmonica? Amazingly cool. And it is not even simply a few bars played on endless repeat (aka a sample).

The story in the song is pretty straight-forward. Krayzie runs into Thug Queen while on his way to plan a robbery with Layzie. While going to meet with him, Layzie meets Powder Pete and all four leave to Tucson to rob a bank.



Lyrics
You better count your money [2x]
(Ghetto Cowboy)
You better count your money [2x]
(Ghetto Cowboy)
You better count your money [2x]
(Ghetto Cowboy)
You better count your money [2x]
(Ghetto Cowboy)

Krayzie:
The name is Krayzie Big bad ass bone,
Wanted up north for all the gold that I stole
Along with some cash I even took the mayor's daughter
Now that there's kidnap, but she was with us so I brought her
Dun got myself into a whole heap of trouble,
Double-crossed by the law so it's nobody to run to
Yeah it's just me and my sawed-off shotgun
I dun now call him 'Leatherface'
I'm headed for the west heard they got a couple banks in town
That ain't been held up yet, well uh, I ought to make it by sundown
I figure that's enough time for me to get the whole rundown
So I continue my mission, it's gettin' dark
So now I'm watching for them damn injuns
They like to catch up then they rob -n- split
I'll be a rootin' tootin' shootin' damn fool, protectin' my chips
All of a sudden, I heard somebody rumble in the bushes, stopped my horse
"Whoa nelly! Who in the bushes, you better speak up
Or I'm a-let my shotgun's song sing out"

Thug Queen:
Who's this? Hope this ain't the law, draw out the bushes with my sawed-off shotgun

Krayzie:
"Come on out right now I'm gettin' angry"
Took a step back 'cause it could get dangly

Thug Queen:
"Please don't shoot it's just me Thug Queen, horse stealer"

Krayzie:
"Then why the hell is you hidin' in them bushes?"

Thug Queen:
"I'm wanted in four counties, for armed robbery, killed two sheriffs, six of his best men with my head,
Stole two horses, thought you was the law that's why
I jumped in the bushes"

Krayzie:
"Goodness"
Now she was hotter than a barrel of fire but I could use her for the job so I told her to ride
"Come on"

Thug Queen:
"May I ask you what you headed to the west for?"

Krayzie:
"I got a partner got a plan for some dough and if you're down you can pick up yourself a pretty penny
Be in town in a minute now be sure if you're with it"

Thug Queen:
"We be up before the sun rise got a stal here for your partner to ride hit the saloon before the moonshine down for whatever let's ride, let's ride"

Krayzie:
"These directions say we go to Tucson, Arizona
When we arrive we'll cop a place we can bunk,
And meet my boy in the morning for details 'n' hookup"

You better count your money [2x]
(Ghetto Cowboy)
You better count your money [2x]
(Ghetto Cowboy)

Krayzie:
"Rise -n- shine, good morning, howdy.
Nine o' clock we meet my boy in the saloon in the valley.
Now I dun came a long way and I don't wanna be late

Thug Queen:
"Tell him I'll make it to him, you know we ain't"

Move out! Giddy up giddy up giddy up [4x]

You better count your money [2x]

Layzie:
I'm peepin' Krayzie's 'Wanted' poster in the saloon
So I assume it'll be trouble round here pretty soon
Glanced across the room I seen this youngster gettin' ready to fight
But if he mess up tonight I think that Krayzie just might take his life
So I approached him and I pause
"Look man, I really don't wanna brawl, but won't you chill before them laws
Come messin' up this master plan
Since he already rowdy I'm just asked the man
You want some work well partner put in your bid
And by the way now what's your name, they call me Layzie the Kid"

Powder Pete:
"The name's Powder Pete, can I get a 12 gauge?
Outlaw every day, on the front page
Mister Kid, if you give me the low-down me and Blackjack
Be ready for the showdown, with 2 double-barrels pointed at whatever
We'll stick together, I'm pretty clever"

Layzie:
"So saddle up, jump on the bandwagon because it's all goin' down"
I heard the guy runnin' the bar screamin' "Krayzie's in town"

Krayzie:
"Now when we get to this saloon, you don't worry, wait outside.
Don't be stealin' nobody's damn horses"
Stepped inside the bar
"Layzie Kid, you son of a gun"

Layzie:
"Hey man I'm glad you made it safely, now let's go have some fun.
And this my partner Powder, he's a young gun"

Powder Pete:
"Howdy"

Krayzie:
"Mighty glad to meet ya son
Oh yeah, you know I also brought a friend along, meet Thug Queen,
The horse peddler, straggler, just met her"

Thug Queen:
"Howdy partner, already got the horses saddled up"

Layzie:
"I hope you're good at robbin' banks like you rustle that cattle up"

Powder Pete:
"Now y'all, it's gonna be gettin' dark real soon"

Krayzie:
"I think you're right. I say we move, come on let's move out"

Giddy up giddy up giddy up [4x]

You better count your money [8x]

Sample
Ghetto Cowboy by Mo Thugs Family

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