A few months ago I read Scarface's autobiography after listening to an interview on the Combat Jack Show. I knew an album was coming soon but sort of forgot about it until recently when the speculation was answered and people started searching the internets for a leak. Well, the album officially dropped on September 4th and the time has come to see if the album is as good as billed by the legend himself as one of his best pieces of work.
The traditional Mr. Scarface sounds open the album before the first song "Rooted" which features singer Papa Rue on the chorus where Scarface drops bars where he gives you the realness about where he is coming from in the streets and for the people like him who claim that to respect the rules that come with it. The "Hot Seat" is a politically motivated track where on the surface it's just about getting locked up over a weekend and getting sentenced, but the deeper issues lie just underneath and he even comes with some great metaphors in the last verse that aren't top the of the head references.
"Anything" has Face warning those in the street lifestyle that their friends will do anything for their own survival from snitching to robbing their own crew. Scarface talks about struggles with the opposite sex and how the relationship changes on "Keep It Moving" which features an appearance from Avant who has been off of the scene for a while. On "You " he goes back to tell his mother he probably should have listened to her from the beginning but that's the hindsight which is always 20-20 until the last verse where he tries to let his own children know that he is now in the opposite position but hopes they can be better than him. The hook is carried out by Cee-Lo.
Now Scarface is also deeply religious and there are a couple of tracks where he delves into the topic of spirituality. "All Good" is the first while "Voices" is the second and coupled with reading his book and thinking about his mental health this one has some added meaning to it. "God" with the incomparable John Legend on the chorus is an examination of the world we're in today as it pertains to religion and how 'bad' things are or could be relatively speaking.
The album ends with "No Problem" which is kind of meant to remind everyone there is no softness here even though he may be willing to expose himself and his doubts a little bit because this song will let you know he isn't scared to handle business and what the repercussions are for testing. "Do What I do" is an excellent track and features Rick Ross, Z-Ro, and Nas . "Fuck You Too" and "Dope Man Pushing" are just serious hard songs with excellent tracks and Scarface really shows his King of the South and the Streets status.
While Scarface may say this is his best album ever I would have to slightly disagree just because the Fix is so iconic in my mind, however this could very well be his second best pieces of work. The production is solid and on-point as is Face's delivery and general message as well as his bars and flow. However, being the stickler that I am for growth from artists and change I do feel like so much of the content is already well-covered by Scarface throughout the other albums in his catalog. Especially after reading the book I feel like the album could have had just a bit more depth if he had talked about some of those issues, whether it be learning how to stay out of trouble on the streets, something introspective about his musical career itself, or something about his actual health which he had to improve which would set the tone for people coming up to think about something other than street life. For most these will be easily overlooked but for an artist with 12 albums in, they are the things that make an album something I will keep going back to.