5. Geto Boys, 'Mind Playing Tricks on Me'
We Can’t Be Stopped, 1991
In 1991, Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys took a bullet – reportedly self-inflicted – in the eye during a suicidal freakout. He survived; a photo of the diminutive MC displaying his wound appeared on the Texas trio's album cover. This Top 30 hit – a classic of cracked ghetto armor that put Houston hip-hop on the map – revealed even more of the manic depression and death wish inside their rhymes. Scarface, who wrote and produced the track, sounded like his movie namesake: fully armed at the edge of sanity, over dark-treble guitar and a gunslinger-walk rhythm sampled from an old Isaac Hayes tune. "It was an awesome, complex display of paranoia," says Questlove. "It managed to add a third dimension [to Geto Boys' sound], and it humanized them."