If you don’t know who Scarface is, then this isn’t the CD you need to pick up. You would be better off swinging through the mall and finding “The Diary” or even his latest success “The Fix”, although those are hardly his only releases, just the peak of the glacier actually. When Face left off on “The Fix” I was mad hyped up over him all over again just like when I was younger, so when I heard through the grapevine that he was already releasing another CD the anticipation rose to new heights. However, isn’t it always unfair to expect an artist to do a repeat performance since they’re supposedly looking to take their flavor in a new direction and try new stuff out? Not to me. When I got the advanced copy my hopes were floating pretty dang high. The turnout? <sigh> Not what I was hoping, but still above the average artists skill level, word is that many verses from here are taken from some of his previously layed flow from a few years back.
The intro was pretty nice, he brought back some of these old school samples that he used on his old joint “Mr. Scarface”, pretty hot. He brings a little heat in “Recognise” when he spits out “how can a nigga from the south get a pass in every section / and walk the projects with no protection / be surrounded by a mob, and not get robbed / can a sinner be a savoir and not be God?”. The beat has that down south style to it, but not as nice as “On My Grind”, this beat is serious fire with a slow bobbin bass line and piano rift. Face flows about his days of slinging powder and making connections as a youngster, Z-Ro laces the chorus and makes it nice.
“Bitch Nigga” samples Dre’s hits on his beat and 50 Cent’s “In Da Club”, and is aimed at calling out snitches and haters, Z-Ro spits some hot stuff “look at mama’s baby out here starvin for an ass whippin / beefin with a magician and trippin, now his ass missin / I’ll be damned if I pull a rabbit out of a hat / but pull a pistol outta a holster and put a bitch nigga on his back”, and if you get a chance to listen to this track, that third verse is blazing, but I’ll leave that for you to discover.
“Stuck At The Standstill” is still Face droppin street science over a street beat, nicely done. “Strapped” is a short interlude of a guy/girl phone conversation that could’ve been left out. “Only Your Mother” brings in Houston favorite Devin the Dude, the hook is saying “only your mother could love you”, and the verses go on to talk trash about multiple situations on women. Not really a brilliant song or any notable flow, just brings a derogatory feel to women that is not contributing anything worthy of praise from a professed Christian.
Speaking of faith, the next track “Make Your Peace” develops thoughts on God and afterlife. The beat is provoking and sparks the mind to listen and think, Scarface goes over different lines of thought such as God versus science, or Christian Scientists and the like. The only problem is that any valid thought in this song is drowned out by the rest of Face’s music and lyrics that reveal the contradiction in his words leaving no room for one to take advice from a hypocrite.
Aries sings the hook on “Spend The Night” which is about one night stands. Hot beat brings a vibe of something you would roll to on a summer night, the lyrics are seriously lacking though. “Mary 2” is a psychedelic song about weed. I’m sure Mr. Jordan accomplished what he was going for which is a song to vibe to while you’re high, but since I’m critiquing here, he should’ve dropped some of the mid-level sounds to make his voice more clearly heard. “Dirty Money” mixes in a 70’s style with a little 90’s, definitely a nice feel to it. The topic is obvious from the title, it’s all about the street hustle and Tanya Herron is a nice addition for the chorus since she fits like a puzzle piece for this bluesy-rap song.
“Fuckin with Face” and “Invincible” are average as far as Scarface beats go, nothing notable and nothing to track back to, the latter suffering the same mixing fate as “Mary 2”. Mostly filled with mundane lyrics, but there’s a few hot lines here and there on “Invincible”. “Real Nigga Blues” is a hot spoken word track, very dramatic and some great vocal emphasis from Lil Papa Roach.
Now I’m a big fan of Scarface from way back, and there’s definitely some pretty phat tracks on here such as “Recognise”, “Bitch Nigga”, “Stuck At The Standstill”, “On My Grind”, “Make Your Peace”, but that’s about it (unless you’re in the mood for spoken word over a dark beat then “Real Nigga Blues” is for you). Face has been a street legend for years now, and this definitely won’t deteriorate that in the least, but it probably won’t be remembered after a couple years either. Now the only other issue that Face needs to address outside of the things already mentioned is the marketing, very few people are even aware of this CD being released, perhaps he’s experimenting and trying to see if he can produce a more long term sales effect by letting the music promote itself? Who knows the bottom line is that this is not his finest work and neither his worst, it’s mediocre when it compares to his other releases and above 90% of other emcees’ work, thus it deserves the very fine rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.
01. Balls and my Word
03. On My Grind ft. Z-Ro
04. Bitch Nigga ft. Z-Ro and Dirt Bomb
05. Stuck At The Standstill
07. Only Your Mother ft. Devin the Dude
08. Make Your Peace
09. Spend the Night ft. Aries
10. Mary 2
11. Dirty Money ft. Tanya Herron
12. Fuckin’ with Face
14. Real Nigga Blues ft. Lil Papa Roach
3.5 out of 5