Scarface and the Geto Boys inspired so many up-and-coming rappers with their 1991 classic “Mind Playing Tricks on Me.” The Notorious B.I.G., 50 Cent, Prodigy, Game, Killer Mike and the Clipse have all either sampled the track or referenced it in their lyrics, but fans might be surprised to learn that it was Scarface’s grandmother who inspired him to write the influential track.
“He came to the room. I think I was just mumbling to myself, my lips were working or something, and he said, ’Mama, what you talkin’ about?’ I said, ’Oh, nothing, my mind’s just playing tricks on me,’ ” the rapper’s grandmother told MTV News as her famous grandson looked on. “I didn’t have no idea he was gonna go out and make a song about it.”
In the song’s memorable video, ’Face experiences hallucinations, running from a shadowy figure he believes is out to get him. The clip was a mainstay on “Yo! MTV Raps” back in the 1990s. On Sunday, the iconic video show is making a comeback with a new special “MTV2 Presents: Yo! MTV Raps: Classic Cuts.” The show will examine the stories behind some of rap’s most influential records, including “Mind Playing Tricks On Me.”
While the world loved the Geto Boys’ breakout single, Mama ’Face had a little problem with the profane language. “When I heard it and he came out with it, I tell you the truth, it just overflowed me, I tell ya, and then I heard some little ol’ words to it, and I thought I’d bring it to his attention,” she said before she told MTV News the advice she then shared with her rapping grandson: “Now that you got your foot in the door, clean your act up a little bit.”
Watch “MTV2 Presents: Yo! MTV Raps: Classic Cuts” on Sunday, December 4, at 12 a.m. ET, immediately after the “2011 Sucker Free Awards.”