Collins Leysath aka DJ Ready Red is an original member of the influential Hip-hop group, The Geto Boys. According to multiple interviews, his mother was a church musician who played popular R&B music at home. He started out as part of Trenton, New Jersey’s disco scene (“I was part of the first Puerto Rican DJ crew in Trenton for many years.”) Frequent visits to cousins in New York City in the late 1970s exposed him to hip-hop as it was taking shape in the Bronx and other parts of the city. As a young man, he moved to Texas and then California in order to help members of his family. During his time in Texas, he met and became the DJ and producer for the Geto Boys. While they are considered one of the early influential groups in hip-hop, they were controversial because of the explicit nature of their lyrics.
Those lyrics sometimes referred to drugs, sex and violence, but also included serious social commentary, such as the song, “Why Do We Live This Way,” in which DJ Ready Red says:
[ verse 1: grand wizard dj ready red ]
Can you take it? how can I be strong
When I see many things in the world is wrong?
You know the love in the hearts is a thing of the past
And living like this, how long can we last?
Some are content to the way things are
Well, not me, you know the road is far
Take off your blindfolds and start to see clear
Time’s windin down, and the end is near
Me speaking fact not fiction, pay attention
Our world is in a critical condition
Understand prejudice is rumor and lies
And over this evil many people have died
You know what blood’s been shed over he-said she-said
I don’t let lies fill my head
But you say it’s like that and the way it is
Well, that’s my point, there’s no love to give