Emerging from the hood of Houston, Texas, Scarface has seen and lived what he raps about. Scarface, born Brad Jordan, came out of the notorious rap group Geto Boyz who bred hits like “My Mind Playing Tricks On Me”, or maybe you remember the infamous album directly from Scarface, “The Diary”. Face has always kept his street credibility, kept his business wits when signing deals for Def Jam as the president of Def Jam South. Now Brad is picking the mic back up with a brand new record to drop with “The Fix”.
It’s clearly evident that Scarface hasn’t lost his touch to not only hear great hip hop, but to produce it as it is evident on “Safe”, hot jazzy rhythm with a nice thick undertone which blends perfectly with Face’s bass booming voice. Scarface drops some street knowledge here “watch your so-called homeboys, keep to yourself / stay away from niggas gettin caught that get out of jail”, never lacking on his wisdom, he keeps it street. It doesn’t stop there, “In Cold Blood” continues the vibe of Face’s hard-knock lyrics and flavor, you get the feeling that Face never left the game with his love for hustle wordplay.
Jay-z and Beanie Sigel come aboard on “Guess Who’s Back”, Jay starts off kind of slow but kicks in during the last few lines, the production is handled by R.O.C.’s own Kanye West which is evident on the beat, Beanie come out pretty nice and overall the song comes together very smoothly from the intro to the end. “On My Block” brings that reminiscent vibe with a heavy piano sample from Donny Hathaway, and lyrics talking about the home of our host, “that’s me dog, on my block / I ain’t have to play the big shot / niggas knew back when I was stealin beer from Shamrock / and my nickname was creepy / and if blackdude could see me/ he’d be trippin, and I bet he’d still try to tease me”.
“Keep Me Down” lays it down keeping with expectations, you can feel that southern love seep through the rhythm, and Face kicks some more of that street science keeping it laced with fire. Songstress Kelly Price steps to the plate next on “What Can I Do” and immediately I’m already in love with the song, Kelly ushers in the intro until the beat fully drops as Scarface drops some heartfelt flow expected of a street legend. We see the other side of Face’s hardness, the chorus is powerfully yet gently supplied by Kelly Price while verses are escorted smoothly and thoughtfully by Face. Face produces his own track next on “In Between Us” which features Nas who blows out the introductory verse with perfection. Face comes real as always saying “I’ma tell a [fella] like this / you’re only good as what you come up against”, Tanya Herron provides the well-written chorus.
Bad Boy’s Faith Evans comes out to display her abilities on “Someday”, a spiritual song which Face spends talking to God and partly talking to his audience. An amazing song which earned Face a hip hop quotable in The Source’s October 2002 issue, Scarface shows some Christian knowledge yet denies its power through the rest of his music content. Face next addresses sellouts in his song titled, well, “Sellout”. He probably gives the best advice in the first verse, “it’s been a long time comin, now I’m back at it / flippin the script from ballin back to gangsta rap classics / you know that [stuff] that hit the hood and upset it / if real niggas respect it the squares gon’ rep it”.
Scarface comes back to his Christianity (among other topics) again in “Heaven”, also bringing back Kelly Price for some easy going vocals. Slow and melodic beat turns out decently. “I Ain’t The One” brings in WC who you may remember from the old Westside Connection group with Mack 10 and Ice Cube, this is a pretty hot track from the standpoint of production, feel and general flow of the song. “Fixed” reuses the introductory beat, and it’s still tight.
Scarface definitely did a favor to the rap world by dropping this CD, and to say that it will go down as a classic is easily said and will be easily done. It’s not hard to see why Face will always get respect, he never strays from his roots and he always keeps it real. The man brought the goods with seamless production and hood science, executive produced by himself he keeps the focus gully and never loses site of that. Some argue that he’s a legend, and reasonably so. 5 out of 5 stars.
03. In Cold Blood
04. Guess Who’s Back – Jay-Z
05. On My Block
06. Keep Me Down
07. What Can I Do? – Kelly Price
08. In Between Us – Nas
09. Someday – Faith Evans
11. Heaven – Kelly Price
12. I Ain’t the One
5 out of 5