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Scarface is an iconic rapper who rose to fame in the 1990s as a pioneering force in Southern hip hop. With his distinctive vocal style and gritty, introspective lyrics, Scarface crafted some of the most celebrated albums in hip hop history and left an indelible mark on the genre.

Introduction

Scarface was born Brad Terrence Jordan on November 9, 1970 in Houston, Texas. Growing up in the South Acres neighborhood, Scarface experienced firsthand the struggles and adversity of inner-city life. As a teenager, he began rapping and formed the seminal hip hop group Geto Boys. After breaking out as a solo artist in the early 1990s, Scarface went on to release a string of classic albums that cemented his status as a rap legend.

Known for his introspective lyrical style and raw honesty, Scarface explored complex themes like depression, paranoia, and self-destruction in his music. His gritty street tales illuminated the dark side of the American dream and evoked the harsh realities of the urban landscape. As one of the pioneers of Southern rap, Scarface played a pivotal role in establishing the “Dirty South” as a hip hop powerhouse and inspired generations of MCs across the region.

Discography

As a solo artist, Scarface has released 12 studio albums:

  • Mr. Scarface Is Back (1991) – His solo debut album featured the hit single “Mr. Scarface”. It was certified Gold by the RIAA.
  • The World Is Yours (1993) – His commercial breakthrough album, featuring the single “I Seen a Man Die”. It reached #7 on the Billboard 200.
  • The Diary (1994) – His most successful album, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200. It included the hits “I Gotta Say What Up!!!” and “Hand of the Dead Body”.
  • The Untouchable (1997) – Debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and featured guests like Ice Cube and Too $hort.
  • My Homies (1998) – Collaborative album with other Houston rap legends including Bushwick Bill and Willie D.
  • The Last of a Dying Breed (2000) – Included popular tracks like “Look Me in My Eyes” and “I Ain’t a Playa”.
  • The Fix (2002) – Hit #4 on the Billboard 200 and featured the single “On My Block”.
  • Balls and My Word (2004)
  • Made (2007)
  • Emeritus (2008) – #8 on the Billboard 200.
  • Deeply Rooted (2015) – His highest charting album in 20 years, hitting #2 on the Billboard 200.
  • Deeply Rooted: The Lost Files (2017)
  • The Closers and More (2022) – His latest release and first album of new material in 7 years.

In addition to his solo work, Scarface was an integral member of the legendary Houston rap group Geto Boys. Their classic albums included Grip It! On That Other Level (1989), The Geto Boys (1990), and We Can’t Be Stopped (1991), which contained the provocative single “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”.

Musical Style and Influences

Scarface is known for his distinctive vocal style – a deep, gravelly delivery that exudes attitude and menace. His lyrics explore heavy subject matter like paranoia, depression, and mortality through vivid storytelling and evocative imagery. He helped establish Southern hip hop’s identity for hard-hitting beats, unapologetic lyrics, and underground authenticity.

His music heavily incorporates R&B, funk, and soul elements derived from his Southern roots. As a producer, Scarface crafts layered, melodic tracks built around live instrumentation and thick bass lines. His tracks tend to be more musical than much hardcore hip hop, showcasing his ear for hooks and grooves.

Scarface cites influential rappers like Ice Cube, Ice-T, Tupac Shakur, and Kool G Rap as inspirations. He is also inspired by old school funk and soul artists like Parliament-Funkadelic, James Brown, and Al Green.

Collaborations

Throughout his career, Scarface has collaborated with many rap legends:

  • Geto Boys members Bushwick Bill, Willie D, and Big Mike on albums like We Can’t Be Stopped. Their raw, provocative lyrics put Southern hip hop on the map.
  • 2Pac on the song “Smile” from The Untouchable in 1997. Their chemistry produced one of Scarface’s most poignant tracks.
  • Jay-Z on “Guess Who’s Back” from The Fix in 2002. The two titans of rap showed off their elite lyrical prowess.
  • Nas on “In Between Us” from The Fix. Their philosophizing showcased two hip hop poets at the top of their game.
  • Ice Cube on “Hand Over Fist” from Mr. Scarface Is Back. The West Coast and Southern legends joined forces.
  • Master P and UGK on “Money Makes the World Go Round” from The Untouchable. A summit of Southern rap royalty.
  • Geto Boys on their 2005 reunion album The Foundation. Scarface and the group showed they still had chemistry.
  • Raekwon on “Kilo” from Deeply Rooted in 2015. The collaboration highlighted Scarface’s ties to the Wu-Tang Clan.
  • Rick Ross on “Sweet Dreams” from Deeply Rooted. Scarface brought Rozay into his brand of luxurious Southern lyricism.

Touring and Performances

As a veteran live performer, Scarface is renowned for his intense, high-energy shows. Some notable tours and performances over his decades-long career include:

  • Opening for Ice Cube on the “Death Certificate Tour” in 1991 after releasing his solo debut Mr. Scarface Is Back.
  • Co-headlining the 1993 “Sunset Strip” tour with frequent collaborators Onyx and Ice Cube. The 25-city run supported his breakout album The World Is Yours.
  • Geto Boys reunion tours like “The Foundation Tour” in 2005 and “Hield II” in 2015, where they performed classics from their seminal catalog.
  • Rocking huge crowds on the Vans Warped Tour in 1998.
  • Gigs at major festivals like Rock the Bells, Paid Dues, and the Gathering of the Juggalos.
  • Overseas tours spanning Europe, Australia, and Asia – spreading his Houston hip hop worldwide.
  • Recent “Deeply Rooted” tours across America in support of his latest albums. Performing new material alongside old classics.

Even after 30+ years, Scarface remains a dynamic force on the mic during his live sets. Audiences around the globe still turn out to see the legendary rapper spit his iconic lyrics.

Personal Life

Outside music, details on Scarface’s personal life include:

  • Age – he was born in 1970 and is currently 53 years old.
  • Location – he resides in Houston, Texas, where he built his rap career.
  • Relationship status – Scarface has been married to his wife Pamela since 2015. He was previously married to Tawnni Collins from 1992 to 2014, with whom he has four children.
  • Health issues – in 2019, Scarface suffered kidney failure and is currently on dialysis while awaiting a transplant. He often raps about this struggle.
  • Other activities – Scarface spends time coaching youth sports, serving his community, and working with his independent label Facemob Music.

Despite fame and success, Scarface has confronted many personal demons over the years including depression, paranoia, addiction, and money issues. He channels these realities into his uncompromising music.

Net Worth

Scarface has an estimated net worth of $2 million. His fortune comes from the following sources:

  • Music sales – Scarface has sold over 6 million albums globally both as a solo artist and Geto Boys member. Several albums went Platinum and Gold.
  • Touring – He has toured consistently for over 30 years and headlined major shows and festivals. Performing is a revenue stream.
  • Production credits – Scarface has produced tracks for himself and other artists like Lil Wayne which adds to his wealth.
  • Label owner – He profits from his label Facemob Music which is home to his artists and catalog.
  • Other ventures – Acting roles, book publishing, and endorsements have expanded his income over the decades.

While wealthy, Scarface came from humble beginnings in inner-city Houston. His net worth pales compared to many multi-platinum rap stars and pop icons. But after years grinding in the rap game, he has earned a comfortable living and legacy.

Importance and Legacy

Scarface is one of the most influential figures in Southern hip hop history. His accomplishments and contributions include:

  • Defining Southern rap’s sound with his music, merging funk-driven beats with his brooding lyrics.
  • Putting Houston on the hip hop map and paving the way for the city’s massive scene, including legends like UGK and Chamillionaire.
  • Crafting a distinctive lyrical style that balanced gritty hood narratives with emotional vulnerability.
  • Releasing a string of classic albums that rank among the genre’s finest – The Diary is revered as his magnum opus.
  • Remaining devoted to music after 30 years, still releasing quality projects despite little mainstream radio play.
  • Earning respect as a revered elder statesman of hip hop who inspired generations of Southern rappers.
  • Surviving serious health ailments and personal struggles, serving as a model of resilience.

Decades later, Scarface’s discography stands the test of time. Songs like “I Seen a Man Die” and “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” remain hip hop cornerstones. As an architect of Southern rap, Scarface’s legacy and influence will echo for years to come.