When it comes to the term “Longevity” A lot of people bring up LL Cool J. Well I respect LL for still being around after 16 years in the game because only a very few can survive in an Industry full of liars, cutthroats, backstabbing and snakes. While LL making 10 albums within two decades and still being able to maintain a name in hip hop is an accomplishment in its own rights It’s also about making all those albums of those albums enjoyable or more enjoyable than the previous and this is where Brad “Scarface” Jordan succeeds.
From his early work with the Gheto Boys to his 8 solo projects(I wouldn’t count My Homies because it was a Compilation) Face hasnt dropped not ONE(I repeat one) wack album in his whole career. His last album Last of a Dying Breed which was released in fall 2000 was one of the best albums to drop that year but unfortunately RAP-A-Lots shitty marketing pretty much made it the most overlooked album of 2000. But that didn’t knock Face’s Hustle, He opened up shop with his own label from Def Jam “Def Jam South” and introduced the masses to a very hilarious but yet witty and skillful rapper from the ATL Ludacris and with Face’s clever marketing and promotion, Luda sold 3 million off just his debut.
There was a lot of hype behind Face’s Def Jam debut and this was supposed to have been the album that would break him into superstardom and have him earn the respect he deserved. When Face released his 9th studio solo album and it remains as his most spiritual work to date. People expecting the twisted imagery of songs such as Born Killer, Mind of a Lunatic, or The Walking Dead may be disappointed and would consider this effort Face’s softest effort.
But the “soft records” aren’t bad. In fact they are the highlights of the album. R&B singers Faith Evans and Kelly Price respectfully are also present on this album and they contribute to two tracks, Faith appears on the very solid Neptunes track “Someday” and Kelly Price gives Face a soulful presence on Heaven where Face is expressing his spiritual side and questions his own immortality. What Can I Do could have been a nice crossover hit for Face as well as Price again helps assist with the soulful vocals, The track isn’t too bad and it comes off sounding nice.
But diehard Face fans shouldnt be disappointed because he still has plenty for the streets, Like the Spring/Summer Mix tape banger Guess Whos Back featuring JayZ and Beanie Sigal where all three emcees come correct over a nice orchestrated Kayne West beat. Jay comes through with the song’s best verse but Face isn’t outshined as badly as he along with Beanie comes through as well. My Block while may not been your typical radio hit got alot of airplay love with Face sounding better than ever as he reminisces about the events that happened on the block he grew up on and Safe is a great insightful game speaking track where Face is giving out advice on how to survive in the street game.
The album’s best track and a personal favorite of mine is Sellout where Face is talking about all the sellouts, fake jacks and wack rappers who are living on Gimmicks to push units, This track is very similar to Ice Cube’s classic hit True to the Game and may have been used before but compared to what we had to endure from today’s Rap Acts, Hearing Face shit on these wack acts is a breath of fresh air.
Although there isnt a real bad song on this album, The only disappointing song is the Nas featured In Between Us, Dont get me wrong, Nas and Face both kill their verses and the beat is very nice but its the T-Boz chourse that completely fucks everything up. But aside from that, The WC featured I Aint The One is a very dope collabo proving that WC is one of the most underrated emcees in hip hop. Hearing these two OGs on a track for the first time is amazing. The best thing about the performances and guest appearances on the album(aside from T-Boz) is that they all make nice contributions to the album, None of the collabos sound too forced and serve their purposes. The bottom line is when it comes to releasing stellar music. Scarface is top 10 dead or alive.