Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Untouchable Scarface Project





Before this project begins, I want to make a special comment. In addition to this being a project dedicated to the legendary Brad "Scarface" Jordan, I also want to dedicate this to one of the biggest Face (referred to as such for the remainder of this project) fan I know, Kevin "Tic" Robinson. Originally he was going to collaborate with me here, but the timing kept us from fully taking advantage of everything. Hopefully Kev and I will be able to collaborate on a future project.


As we proceed to make our way to the project, I'm going to start things by talking about my first exposure(s) to Face. I can assume that most of the people reading this first heard him on the classic Geto Boys single "Mind Playing Tricks On Me." That's certainly the case with me. The first time I heard any of his solo work was "The World Is Yours", which comes with an interesting story. My step dad Wade, back in the day, owned this on cassette and any time I tried to listen to it, he would try to keep it from me, smh+lol (I was able to hear a couple of songs, but not a lot at the time). It wasn't until my dad gave me a dubbed copy of "The Diary" when I finally listened to a Face (solo) album in full with no interference, and of course I thought what I heard was simply incredible. From there, I've been a fan ever since.

Throughout this project, I'll be covering all of Face's solo work from his 1991 debut "Mr. Scarface Is Back" up to 2015's "Deeply Rooted." Yes, "Balls And My Word" will be included, but the two "My Homies" albums and "One Hunid" (The Product) will not be part of this project. I'll also include the usual song by song analysis as well as a running tally of individual ratings and rankings of his albums. To close the project, I'll pick my favorite album (which will be a challenge for me, lol), his most underrated album, top 25 songs and top 10 collaborations. So, without further delay, we'll kick off the "Untouchable Scarface Project" with "Mr. Scarface Is Back!!"




"MR. SCARFACE IS BACK"
Release date: October 3, 1991


All songs produced by Face and Crazy C


1. "Mr. Scarface"




Allow Face to describe this opener:

"The shit that we were doing made me write that fucking song. The motherfuckers were calling me Scarface. They started saying, 'that’s straight out of the Scarface movie, I can’t believe y’all did that.' But we hadn’t seen Scarface yet. I didn’t see the movie until ‘88, five years after it came out."


Lol, only Face can start a song with a hilarious yet gangstafied rendition of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." With all the (solo) momentum in the world on his side, Face picks up right where he left us on the Geto Boys' "We Can't Be Stopped" album, in full Mr. Scarface mode: angry, pissed, violent and aggressive. He's in full storytelling mode on this one, with an in your face, detailed account of a drug deal gone wrong (along with its aftermath) and "tough love" with the opposite sex. Dope way to start with the album, complete with its southern fried, organ laced production.
*5 out of 5*




2. "The Pimp"

Man, lol, if you thought his lyrics on "Gangsta Of Love" were something else, he steps things up here, maybe a little too much, lol, but that's probably the point. This won't be the first apply titled song in Face's discography, especially when it comes to the fairer sex. Backed by a sampling of James Brown's "Sportin' Life", Face is raw and in your face (NO pun intended, lol) in reference to his "sessions" with the ladies he pulls.
*3 out of 5*


3. "Born Killer"


"I'm a born killer, you're face to face with Scarface/You tried to ice an ace, but that's a muthafuckin' waste/You snoozed, fucked up, G/And your mama shoulda warned you bout a nigga like me!!"
 
"My mama did her part/But it ain't her fault that I was born without a heart/In other words I'm heartless, dude/I don't love me, how the fuck I'mma love you?!"


This joint right here is one of my favorite Face songs and to say that he's gangstafied throughout is truly an understatement, plus the quotable lines above tell the story of complete survival. I mean, you don't get any more gangsta than "send you back to mommy in some plastic/and have the bitch out huntin' for a casket!" Wow, lol. In addition, what most people probably didn't realize at the time was when he said "I'm legally insane, marked manic depressive", this was based in reality and he spoke on this in an Unsung episode highlighting the Geto Boys. The samples courtesy of the Commodores' "The Assembly Line" and The Nite-Liters' "Buck & The Preacher" were well timed and used effectively here as well. DOPE song.
*5 out of 5*


4. "Murder By Reason Of Insanity"

"Boy you should have known not to fuck with me bitch/Brothers like me are making mortuaries rich!"


The dictionary.com definition of insanity is "the condition of being insane, a derangement of the mind" and as you listen to this song, another tale of money, murder and mayhem, that's exactly what you get from Face, and yes, the lines above accurately describe this song in a nutshell. Much like the song before it, it was interesting to listen to a Southern twist when it came to the samples, in this case said samples courtesy of James Brown's "Untitled Instrumental", the familiar "Synthetic Substitution" by Melvin Bliss and ESG's "UFO."
*4 out of 5*


5. "Your Ass Got Took"

For newer fans, "your ass got took" was Southern slang for getting caught up, if you will, and it was one of many other variations at this point, and I'm sure you know what happens after someone gets caught up. Don't worry, Face covers this and then some, plus weak cats, gold-digging females and anyone else in his way feels his wrath here, lyrical and otherwise.
*5 out of 5* 


6. "Diary of a Madman"


You know what, in an interview with Complex magazine, I'll let Face describe this classic:

"Now that’s a good record. When I was about 20 years old, I had a fight with my girlfriend and I was really hurt about what had transpired. I did some things that hurt her that I shouldn’t have done and it never happened again in my life but I felt so bad about it until I just went off in that fucking shell and hid. And that’s where that song came from. That was one of the deepest songs that I’ve ever written. It’s a guy that’s caught up with nothing to say to nobody but this book that he is confiding in. I tried to kill myself so many times in life that I say it on that record. ‘I want to die but it ain’t for me/I tried to talk to my dad but my old man ignores me/He says I’m delirious/Plus I drink so he won’t take me serious/But little does he know I’m really losing it/I got a head with ain’t no screws in it.’ You know I got some bad motherfuckers man! That’s what I was going through at that time. I tried [to commit suicide] at least four times. I got close enough where they wanted to put me in a hospital. The first time I tried I was about 13 or 14. I never understood the beauty of life until now. I never understood the beauty of life until I’d seen life take shape. Life takes shape and it’s mind blowing."

Man, this is what I would call a rather chilling description, based in reality, as to how this song was created and revisiting it again, I would say it's the best song on the album and of course one of Face's best, also one of his deepest. With his state of mind being present in a lyrical form, Face takes to his "black" diary to talk about all of his problems. He's literally getting no support from those who should be there, but instead of taking his own life, he seeks comfort in his diary, again, real deep when you listen to and analyze the song, especially with lines like, "I can't put the shit behind me/I know I'm here somewhere, but I can't find me." That's a deep assessment in terms of his state of mind and the aforementioned diary will proceed to help him on his journey.
*5 out of 5*


7. "Body Snatchers"

This right here would be another violent tale of money, murder and mayhem. It may have been one of the only songs on the album that would've benefited a bit more with appearances from Willie D and Bushwick Bill.
*4 out of 5*


8. "Money and The Power"

Listen closely and you'll hear Rap-A-Lot Records CEO J. Prince on the hook. Continuing on, although Face remains in storytelling mode here, the central theme is of course the song's title and hearing Face talk in detail about doing any and everything possible to achieve those goals. And as he alluded to at the beginning of the second verse (and something I've talked about on this very blog many times), working at McDonalds for what they considered "chump change" was not going to cut it for ambitious men like Face. This song is/was another testament to that.
*5 out of 5*


9. "P D Roll 'Em"

"Here it comes fool, I play a game where there's no rules/Homies on the cut call me Joe cause I'm so cool!"


A sample that I've always loved, the Southside Movement's "I Been Watching You" is used effectively for ANOTHER tale of money, murder and mayhem. To newer fans again, "P D roll" was Southern slang for "getting whacked."
*5 out of 5*


10. "Good Girl Gone Bad"

Long time fans will recognize the Smokey Robinson sample used here ("Do Like I Do"), which was also used for Ice Cube's "Dead Homiez" from the "Kill At Will" EP. Don't let the title of this one fool you: this song, complete with more money, murder and mayhem, tells the easy to follow story of a drug deal going bad and the results of it. Once you've heard a song like this, you've probably heard them all, lol.
*4 out of 5*


11. "A Minute to Pray and a Second to Die"



Genius.com describes this song as "a great, long form storytelling song by Scarface in which he details the story of a man getting violent revenge on his enemies after being the victim of a drive-by shooting and then ultimately getting killed at the end of the song." That description does sum up the song pretty well and the use of Marvin Gaye's classic "Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)" certainly adds to Face's feelings on the matter (even though he's telling the story, the details themselves "fucks him up" on the inside). The thought provoking song title comes full circle (towards the end) as you really sit down and listen to the story being told.
*5 out of 5*


12. "I'm Dead"

Going back to that interview with Complex magazine, Face describes this song:

"At the end of one of Ganksta N-I-P's albums, he had a song where he went off talking crazy like, 'oh shit, I'm dead, I'm dead.' That was one of my favorite Ganksta N-I-P records and that's where the title came from."


Clocking in at 2:27, it's the shortest song on the album and the more I think about it, this is another song where Face somewhat challenges you to think about what you're listen to, in that he's rapping from the perspective of..... being dead. Don't allow that to freak you out. If you listen to the song and don't take it too seriously, it's effective in its own way.
*4.5 out of 5*



I think it was clear as far back as the Geto Boys' "Grip It! On The Other Level" album that Face was destined for a solo run, which was even more clear on the "We Can't Be Stopped" album (also released in '91). Backed by some sample heavy, Southern fried production, Face delivered a highly dope debut album. Even though the album's content came heavy on the money, murder and mayhem tip, he still was able to balance said content with a couple of deep, thought provoking songs that would become a notable part of every album of his going forward. You'll also notice that Willie D and Bushwick Bill were nowhere to be found on this album. That's no knock on those two men, but with this being 100 percent Face and no guest appearances, it allowed the listeners to focus on Face and see what he was able to bring to the table on the solo side and he succeeded in that regard. Although my ratings would suggest a 4.5 star rating, I've always awarded this album 5 stars and I'm standing back that particular rating for Face's debut, which hit #51 on the "Billboard 200" chart en route to a Gold certification an April 23, 1993.





"THE WORLD IS YOURS"
Release date: August 17, 1993



All songs produced by N.O. Joe, except where noted




1. "Intro"
Face encourages you to "twist up a big ass joint", lol, leading us right into.....


2. "Lettin' Em Know"

"Niggas watch ya back cause here I come again/Droppin funky shit for the 199-tre/In 1989 I sold dope for a pasttime/1991 they called that nigga Scarface"


"Front, back and side to side", yes indeed. I LIKE this one right here and it was the best way to set this album off proper. Almost 2 years after his high powered debut, Face returns to the scene, simply riding this Southern fried, funky production with the greatest of ease, not missing a step at all.
*5 out of 5*


3. "Comin' Agg"

"Ain't no half steppin, I'm comin at you ruff like/Shootin to kill cause back in school I had enough fights/To never wanna put my knuckles up against a nigga's head/So you can sling 'em all you want, but muthafucka I be slingin lead/Cause like I said befo' I'm a muthafuckin dreadlock/Puttin fools in headlocks, givin niggas headshots!"


Before I talk about this song, I have a small story (or at least I'll try to keep it that way, lol). Back in the day, circa 1994ish, my step-dad Wade had this on cassette (I was 9 at the time) and there were a few times when he would have this album straight up bangin in his black Honda (can't recall the model, lol). I would often try to "sneak" and bump this joint, LOL, and when I did, it was this song I frequently played and to this very day, I still have no idea with "comin' agg" means, I honestly don't. Nevertheless, this is another dope song with Face bring such hardcore lyrics over equally hard production.
*5 out of 5*


4. "The Wall"

A VERY good song to be sure, however, it's one you really have to take your time with while listening to it. Genius.com describes this song as "the walls he's referring to are psychological barriers he creates as an unhealthy coping mechanism to the unpleasant emotions he experiences." Well said, but when you listen to this, it's apparent that everything is practically two fold. On one end, you can say that he creates the barriers due to his state of mind, unstable or otherwise, on the flip side, it's the environment he's in that's leading to the situations he's encountering. It's quite the listen and once the song is over, again, everything comes full circle. VERY good stuff here.
*5 out of 5*


5. "Let Me Roll"
Additional Vocals by Lil' J (J. Prince)
Produced by Face

Allow Face to describe this song, courtesy of the aforementioned interview with Complex magazine:

"That was my dope smoking song. That's when Swisher Sweets started getting popular in the neighborhood. My buddy, his name was Toast, and he died in 1992 but he was the first guy to smoke Swisher Sweets. He was like 17 years old and he would cut the Swisher Sweets open and put the weed in it. Now everybody was smoking Philly blunts and White Owls, but Toast was smoking Sweets. So I wrote that song.


This is probably one of the smoothest Face songs you'll ever hear and I can understand why he called this his "dope smoking song." Even though I'm not a smoker, just listening to this gives you the clear impression that the smokers would love it and almost 25 years later (as of this comment), I'm sure that sentiment remains.
*5 out of 5*


6. "You Don't Hear Me Doe"
Featuring DMG

This song also appears on DMG's debut album "Rigormortiz", so if it sounds like a complete solo showcase here, that's exactly why. It's a good, appropriately titled song, not sure why it was included on Face's album.
*4 out of 5*


7. "One Time"
Newer fans, back in the 90s, when rappers talked about the police, they were referred to either as "one time" or "5-0." Just an interlude here for the most part, showing what the police force were capable of circa 1993 and I'm sure this same behavior is present today unfortunately.


8. "Dying With Your Boots On"

SMH+LOL, another funny story here dating back my step-dad Wade. Randomly, this man would sometimes walk through my mom's apartment saying, "dying with your boots on!", smh+lol. Looking back, he probably had no idea what this song was about, just probably liked the beat and that was it, lol. Anyway, lol, Face was definitely not a fan of snitching in any form and this song was a verbal warning to the kind of consequences you would suffer if you opened your mouth about him.
*4 out of 5*


9. "I Need A Favor"
Produced by James Smith and John Bido

This was an extended interlude if you ask me (no rating for it either). Face is talking non-stop game to an unnamed woman and based on her responses to everything he says, she has no problems with being at his total beck and call (she even said "your wish is my command").


10. "Still That Aggin"
Produced by Face

And before you ask, "aggin" is "nigga" spelled backwards (lol). Another apply titled song here, with Face making the extreme case that he's "still that nigga, ain't nothin changed."
*3 out of 5*


11. "Strictly For The Funk Lovers"

This may not be fair, but I'm going to treat this LONG exercise as an actual song. Face, with a tone reminiscent of RBX (think of "The Chronic" album for this one), talks EXTENSIVELY about..... the meanings of "doo-doo chasing." Read that again and try to let it sink in. You can say that they were equating "doo-doo" to funk (no pun intended), but that's giving this WAY too much credit. Oh, and check this out, and this is probably because I ALWAYS skipped this song, this isn't Face, it ACTUALLY IS RBX with Jewell in the background. Ok, how in the hell this happened and why is this on Face's album, smh+lol?? It REALLY seemed like they were trying to go for "The Roach (The Chronic Outro)", but it fell VERY short and again, it was 6:10 too long, meaning it shouldn't have even been made let alone graced the final cut of this album. Let's move on.
*0 out of 5*


12. "Now I Feel Ya"
Produced by James Smith and John Bido

I'll say this: instead of offering analysis, not only will I say that this must be heard to be (fully) appreciated, it's perhaps one of the most introspective songs of Face's career. Whereas the previous song was long for all the wrong reasons, every minute of this 7:35 song is WELL spent, ALL bars, NO hook. It all amounted to Face being reckless in his youth, but once he made his way into adult life, he understands it all by simply saying "now I feel ya." Excellent song.
*5 out of 5*


13. "Funky Lil' Aggin"
Featuring 2-Low

This was a solo showcase for 2-Low. Only 13 years old at the time of this recording, as far as the lyrics are concerned, there's no way he wrote any of this (I said that then and I'm saying today as well).
*3 out of 5*


14. "Mr. Scarface: Part III The Final Chapter"
Produced by James Smith and John Bido

With all due respect to Face, I still find it hard to believe he freestyled this entire song. Either way, it's the (un)official final chapter of the "Mr. Scarface" series, with the previous two installments found on the "Grip It: On That Other Level" and "Mr. Scarface Is Back" albums, respectively. Backed by awesome samples in the form of The Commodores' "The Assembly Line" (again) and The Soul Searchers' "Ashley's Roachclip", all the money, murder, mayhem and now sex is on full display here, even as Face has a little fun in the midst of it all.
*5 out of 5*


15. "He's Dead"

The short version of this song is that it's more sex, money, murder and mayhem in display, definitely something we have heard before (at this point in the project) and would've been found on the first album.
*4 out of 5*


16. "I'm Black"

If you want to understand why rappers view the police force in this country the way they do, especially in the mid-late 80s and all through the 90s, Face paints that verbal picture here, truly picking up where "Crooked Officer" left off. The frustration is clear as day in Face's voice as he talks about the how police officers treat Black men across the country.
*5 out of 5*


17. "Outro"



So, even after all these years, does album #2 give "Mr. Scarface Is Back" a run for its money? In a few cases yes, but overall I feel Face's debut is a little more stronger, but I will give "The World Is Yours" a slight edge in consistency. Even though Face took some of what worked in 1991 and applied them here, you can tell that he was well on his way to growing and maturing as an artist, which will definitely be the case when we get to the next album. You'll also notice that Bushwick Bill and Big Mike were nowhere to be found on this album, allowing the listeners to continue to focus on Face, solo style. "The World Is Yours" would peak in the top 10 of the "Billboard 200" chart, later achieving a Gold certification on October 20, 1993. Next up is 1994's "The Diary."


SCARFACE RATINGS AND RANKINGS
1. "Mr. Scarface Is Back" (5 stars)
2. "The World Is Yours" (4.5 stars, up from the previous 4 star rating)




"THE DIARY"
Release date: October 18, 1994


1. "Intro"
Album number three begins with a Scarface-themed, piano laced instrumental. Listen to this intro again a bit closely and you can almost tell that Face will be going in a different direction in '94. And with that being said, we head RIGHT into.....


2. "The White Sheet"
Produced by N.O. Joe

"Rat tat tat tat 'til your ass hit the muthafuckin floor/Here comes the white sheet!"


Oh man, do I ever remember going crazy when I first heard this joint. Just to back up a bit, my dad had this on cassette (a dubbed copy) at this point and after he was finished with it, he turned it over to me and well, you know the rest, lol. This was indeed a statement to any foes, competition, etc who wanted to test Face: the title of this song is what you'll be facing, either on a lyrical end or in the streets. Even though the edge/hardness is still present in his delivery, Face sounds more refined here as opposed to prior years and it's a welcomed change, which isn't a bad thing at all. Such a dope song.
*5 out of 5*


3. "No Tears"
Produced by Face and N.O. Joe

Allow Face to give the chilling details on the origins of this song, via the same Complex magazine interview:

"I recorded that record maybe that August. I take so fucking long to do albums, like that album was recorded in the fall of '92 and maybe mixed in '93 and didn't come out till late '94. I really take my time when I make a record. The record came about when that kid died and I wrote a record.

A friend of mine died on July 24, 1992. He was in this house with his girl and there as a guy on the couch asleep. [He left] and when he came back, his girl was shot through her hands and her face and she was dead. And my homeboy got shot in his face. We never knew who did it until about a year ago, the murderer confessed to the murders. He was serving time on another case and he just went to the penitentiary and he just confessed to those murders. They were murdered over money."



Wow, quite the unfortunate circumstances right there. Considering this description of the song, I feel it's safe to say that even though it clocks in at 2:23 and there's no hook, Face really delivers here and that same refined sound found on the previous song is also present here (and this will be the case on the next song too). In what could be considered a nice bit of continuity, he says "I can't talk to my mother so I talk to my diary", essentially dating back to his mental state in '91. It may send a signal that not much has changed, but we'll explore that more throughout this album.
*5 out of 5*


4. "Jesse James"
Produced by Face, N.O. Joe and Mike Dean

Oh man, it doesn't get any better than this gangstafied classic, no question. Face has made many hard(core) songs in his day, but I feel this joint may be at the very top of the list. To say that Face's lyrics FIT the outstanding production is an understatement, as he assumes the role, if you will, of the Southern hip hop version of Jesse James, NO games being played. This was also included on the "Jason's Lyric" soundtrack released the same year. Classic.

"I could give a muthafuck about the sentence/I'll snatch your ass up off the hinges/Cause I'm SCREAMIN FOR VENGEANCE!"

*5 out of 5*


5. "G's"
Produced by N.O. Joe and Mike Dean

This is another one talking about the days in the lives of gangstas in the neighborhood and what's being observed in the process. There's no doubt we have heard songs like this before, and as I always say, if they're done right the results are usually very good. You can say this was Face's version of some G-funk but with a Southern twist.
*5 out of 5*


6. "I Seen A Man Die"
Produced by Face, N.O. Joe and Mike Dean



Two things before I talk about this classic: 1) I didn't know until this very moment that the reason why this was initially titled "Never Seen A Man Cry" was the make it more commercially acceptable. 2) Speaking of commercially acceptable, remember the "Martin" show and the "Mad Dog No Good" episode? The late Gary Coleman played Mad Dog, someone Martin had put in prison years back after a fender bender and he was getting out after 5 years, much to Martin's dismay. When Mad Dog appeared, an instrumental version of this song played as he entered and exited Nipsey's bar. This was the second time that Face had a presence on the show in a musical form.

"I rapped the verses. I played it back after I was done, but I was still high so I was like, 'I don't know, maybe I must be high, but this is some groundbreaking shit.'

I listened to it again a couple of days later when I wasn't so high and it still sounded the same. I knew right then, when these people get a hold of this reality it's going to be something special."


Something special indeed and that accurately describes this song, most likely Face's most successful, radio friendly song to this day. Wikipedia.org describes this song as "a tale of a young man released from prison after 7 years looking for a better life, only to get caught up on the crime side again and robbed by his enemies, only to die in the hospital while feeling regrets." Even with the story being told, Face constantly wonders why "he can never see a man cry till another man dies." In my view, society has often dictated, largely for the wrong reasons, that men are not supposed to cry or show any type of emotions and if he does, he's labeled as soft. Speaking as a man, this is certainly not the case and at the end of the day, we're all humans, we're going to have emotions, especially when enduring the loss of a loved one. With that said, I get what Face was going for here even in the midst of the story he's telling, and now when I think about it, I feel his question is answered as the song closes. This is another deep, chilling song in Face's discography and it must be heard to be appreciated. GREAT stuff here (I also recommend listening to this at night).
*5 out of 5*


7. "One"
Produced by N.O. Joe and Mike Dean

This "2 song" part of the album is strictly for the ladies, no mistake about it. This one, no pun intended, is cool, but not too soft for the fellas. Face is in straight "hook up mode" during the course of the three verses. Good song.
*4 out of 5*


8. "Goin' Down"
Produced by Face, N.O. Joe, Mike Dean and Uncle Eddie

You know, a case can be made that this almost picks up where "One" leaves off. It's another showcase of Face's dealings with the fairer sex, less rough than "Gangsta Of Love" and "The Pimp" that's for sure, lol.
*3 out of 5*


9. "One Time"


10. "Hand Of The Dead Body"
Featuring Ice Cube and Devin the Dude
Produced by Face, N.O. Joe, Mike Dean and Uncle Eddie



Another classic right here with a well placed appearance from another legend, Ice Cube. I've talked about this before on the blog and I have no problem revisiting it again. At this point in '94, hip hop was continuing to receive increased media attention, thanks to so-called "gangsta rap." Not only was there sensational coverage on TV and magazines, but attention also came from the U.S. government, and if you got the attention of high ranking individuals in our Executive Branch, that's pretty big. Face RIGHTLY pointed out the hypocrisy of those who criticized the music while turning a blind eye and deaf ear to other forms of entertainment that's been around for years (".....because the shit that I be sayin ain't worse than no Western movie", Face said) as well as hip hop being blamed for all of America's problems, and Cube called out the Reverend Calvin Butts for his (then) critical stance on hip hop and being one of the driving forces behind the steamrolling of hip hop albums around this time outside of a record store in New York. While hip hop is nowhere near receiving this type of attention these days, it's always fascinating to reflect back on these historical/memorable happenings. Excellent song.

"And we were always considered evil/Now they tryin to buss our only code of communicating with our people" -Face

*5 out of 5*


10. "Mind Playin' Tricks 94"
Produced by N.O. Joe and Mike Dean

For starters, this is not a remix of the Geto Boys' classic from '91, but rather an update from '91 to '94 if you will. The one thing I REALLY like about this song is the way Face starts one half of each verse with a '91 state of mind, but instead of reacting the way he would only 3 years ago, he goes in much different routes, showing esteemed maturity and being humble along the way. Not only was this a growing change personally, but this also reflected a change musically (all in all, this song is an example on how maturity should affect anyone who has had a rocky past). Oh yeah, in the third verse, he mentions "he finally found a woman who could deal with me" and he throws back to the woman in '91 who left him during some trying times, also throwing a funny shot at her too, letting her know it was her loss when she decided to leave. A VERY, very good song showing that maturity can take you a long way.
*5 out of 5*


11. "The Diary"
Produced by N.O. Joe

"Cause you done came at me the wrong way/I ain't no Clint Eastwood nigga and you done picked the wrong day!"


A clueless man decides, at the beginning of the song, that "he can fade Face on this rap shit." Face brings the lyrical heat, with no hook, and after all this, sensing that he's NO match, the clueless man leaves the scene, saying "I can't do it." Well, he did the right thing in this case, lol, because he would've been seriously outclassed on the mic. A dope 2:24 right here.
*5 out of 5*


12. "Outro"
We close the album almost in the same way that it started.



Oh man, WHAT can I say about this album that hasn't been said already? One word to describe "The Diary" is excellent. Face was clearly at the top of his game at this point and this album is a testament to that. The production was still dope, but what really makes this album stand out is the lyrics. As mentioned, Face was a little more refined this time around, but it produced a mature sound and musical growth, which is what defined this album in a nutshell. It was a success, with "I Seen A Man Die" peaking at #37 likely on the "Top Rap/R&B Singles" charts (also his first single to crack the Top 40), with the album itself debuting at #2 on the "Billboard 200" chart and becoming certified Platinum on December 5th of '94, almost 2 months after its release. It was also picked as one of the best albums of the year in The Source's "1994 year in review" issue and in its 150th issue, they went back and awarded it a justified 5 mic rating (previously I think they gave it 4). Several months ago, I said to myself, "this may very well be my favorite Face album", but that will be challenged when we get to 2002. Overall, a true 5 star classic and one of the greatest albums of all time. It was at this point when it was clear he was the best MC in the South. Next up, we head to 1997 for the cleverly titled "The Untouchable."


RATINGS AND RANKINGS
1. "The Diary" (5 stars)
2. "Mr. Scarface Is Back" (5 stars)
3. "The World Is Yours" (4.5 stars)





"THE UNTOUCHABLE"
Release date: March 11, 1997


(The production credits on this album may be off slightly, however, I'm going by strictly what's in my insert.)



1. "Intro"
The dramatic, piano laced tone of this intro takes us right into.....


2. "Untouchable"
Produced by Face, N.O. Joe, Mike Dean and Tone Capone

The proverbial ball gets rolling with this apply titled song. After dropping the classic "Diary" album 2 1/2 years prior, Face returns to the scene with no "studio rust" whatsoever. Also, apparently the late Roger Troutman was on the hook here, but he wasn't credited for some reason.
*5 out of 5*


3. "No Warning"
Produced by Face, N.O. Joe, Mike Dean and John Bido

"It's the return of the real nigga, wit real shit/And when the smoke dies down it's still a nigga left to deal wit/This muthafucka standin one deep solo/Exercising parts of the game Bo don't know"


With no hook over some dope production, Face goes in here in such a "boss type" form, riding the beat with such gusto and confidence. All things considered, this song wasn't too long or too short, it was RIGHT there in the middle and all 2:37 of this were worth it.
*5 out of 5*


4. "Southside"
Produced by Face, Mike Dean and Tone Capone

Even though it seemed like Face was telling somewhat of a (personal) story here, I can't help but think that this song, another brief but dope one without a hook, is a Southern anthem for the most part. The way Face rides this beat is ruggedly smooth.
*4.5 out of 5*


5. "Sunshine"
Featuring Lisa Crawford
Produced by Face and N.O. Joe

Going into this one, you wouldn't think that it's one of those songs you would have to take your time with, however, revisiting this, it seemed like there was a message here: even in the midst of murder, mayhem and the like, there's still light at the end of the tunnel, i.e. sunshine. Good song.
*4 out of 5*


6. "Money Makes The World Go Round"
Featuring Daz, Devin the Dude and KB
Produced by Face, Mike Dean and Tone Capone

"The scrilla, the cabbage, the cheese, the scratch, the cheddar/Whatever you call it, it's all hot" -Daz

"Although it's made of paper, it don't grow on trees/Unless you comin up sellin weed, while you blow on sweets" -Devin


IF you DON'T know what this song is about, I honestly don't know what to tell you, lol. Previously, Face hadn't really touched on the popular subject on money, even on the Geto Boys albums, so this was somewhat new territory for him. Talking about money was nothing new for Daz, especially to those familiar with his work on Death Row at this point. For some reason, KB and Devin (the latter drops a very good verse) weren't credited. Another good song.
*4 out of 5*


7. "For Real"
Produced by Face, N.O. Joe and Mike Dean

"I'm so for real about this muthafuckin scrill/That any obstacle obscuring my paper is gettin killed, for real!"


This sounded like something that could've been on either Face's first or second album. He re-embraces his extreme hustling side here with nothing but money on his mind, obviously, and letting nothing or nobody stand in his way.
*4 out of 5*


8. "Ya Money Or Ya Life"
Produced by Face, N.O. Joe and Jo Jo

I remember bumping this one (and the next song) quite a bit back in the day. You can definitely take some of what I said in the prior song, apply them here and it still would work. It's amazing to hear Face come so sinister on this track and still sound so refined at the same time. I LIKE this one right here.
*5 out of 5*


9. "Mary Jane"
Produced by Face, Mike Dean and Tone Capone

I'll let Face describe this song:

"I wrote that record on weed but I recorded it one ecstasy. It was probably why it sounded so fucking great. Me and Mike Dean were doing so much fucking X. Like those were the highest times of my life.

Lean was always popping, but you're talking about getting super duper stoned? Of course [we were doing coke]. We rocked it up, cut the rocks up and then go. We used to call it a 'shake pack.' We would take the shake pack and put that in the weed. That was called 
Premo's or Mo's.

So as time went on you would be talking to your homeboy and say, 'Man, let's go get MO'tivated.' [Laughs] So when people always say 'I need something to motivate me,' I'm always like, 'nigga, you don't want that.

I don't fuck around anymore but back then we got super high. We never did anything sober. I can't remember doing anything while sober. We did everything but heroin and methamphetamine.


Interesting to say the very least. I've said this before and I'll say it again: even though I'm not a smoker, I LOVE this song right here and I'm sure all the smokers probably love it more than I do, lol. As an ode to marijuana (aka "Mary Jane"), this is quite the excellent song and as Face said, it is "fucking great." (Whoever provided the hook was not credited.) It was so great that Ashanti would later sample/remake this for one of her successful hits, "Baby."
*5 out of 5*


*10. "Smile"
Featuring 2Pac and Johnny P
Produced by Face, Mike Dean and Tone Capone



Oh man, I gotta talk about this one. To this day, I'm a little surprise that Face and Pac hadn't collaborated earlier in their careers. Can you imagine Pac being a guest on the Geto Boys' "We Can't Be Stopped" and/or "Till Death Do Us Part" or anyone of Face solo albums pre-Untouchable? Can you also imagine Face collaborating on "Me Against The World" and/or "All Eyez On Me?" Man, the excellence we would've received. This was one of the last songs Pac did prior to his untimely death. Genius.com described Pac's verses as "his posthumous goodbye letter to the world" and I tend to agree with that. In addition, this was Face's most successful to date, hitting #12 on the "Billboard Hot 100" chart and in a VERY respectable/commendable touch, Face delivers a prayer in the memory of Pac. GREAT song here which contains a message that's not hard to figure out.
*5 out of 5*


11. "Smartz"
Additional Vocals by Devin the Dude
Produced by Face, Mike Dean and Tone Capone

Yes, Devin was not credited on this one either. Face details the importance of being street smart, nothing more or less.
*4 out of 5*


12. "Faith"
Produced by Face, Mike Dean, Tone Capone and Domo

Take a seat and listen as Face preaches to the hip hop congregation, plus I'm certain he was talking to God here as well (he does let one cuss word slip in the second verse). Face all but stresses the importance of having faith in life's many trials and tribulations.
*5 out of 5*


*13. "Game Over"
Featuring Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Too $hort
Produced by Dre


"I begged Dr. Dre for the record. I was persistent about getting a record from him. He invited me over to the sutdio and he did like three or four beats for me. A lot of people say what they want to say about Dre like he don't do his own shit but that's a lie. Dre was hands on. We were very adamant about getting that record from Dre."

"When we finally got the record, we had trouble clearing it. Jimmy Iovine and I ended up getting that record for free. I don't know what was said or what was done, all I know is I got to use that record and I never heard anything else abotu it. At that time, a Dre beat was like $75,000 or $100,000."


This is a hell of a lineup right here, featuring four legends who all came up around the same time. Although Cube does the hook and $hort introduces the song, their appearances were not wasted, Face and Dre do an exceptional job with their verses. Oh yeah, this BANGER sounds GREAT in the ride at nighttime (try it and you'll see what I mean). DOPE, dope song. This sadly would be the last time Face would work with Dre.
*5 out of 5*


14. "Outro"



I'm sure it was quite the task to follow an album like "The Diary" and while Face's fourth is not on the same level, albeit in the slightest of terms, it's still an excellent album. Lyrically he was still on point and the production fit everything he said so well. It seemed like it fell under the radar a little bit in '97, but "Smile" definitely made noise and it was one of the reasons behind the album's success, leading to a Platinum certification on May 16, 1997. Face continued to cement his status as the driving lyrical muscle in the South. Great album.


RATINGS AND RANKINGS
1. "The Diary" (5 stars)
2. "Mr. Scarface Is Back" (5 stars)
3. "The Untouchable" (4.5 stars)
4. "The World Is Yours" (4.5 stars)



Before I skip all the way to the year 2000 and the "Last of a Dying Breed" album, I want to talk about 1998's "My Homies" for a bit. This was released on March 3, 1998. It's an ok album with a few good songs, but in my view, it was a bloated piece of work (and considering I'm usually a sucker for double albums, this is saying something, lol). I commend Face for allowing the album to be a showcase for other guests as well as the members of the Rap-A-Lot roster, but I still feel this should've been along the lines of his prior albums, with the only difference being that it was a double album. It was an opportunity missed in my view.


"THE LAST OF A DYING BREED"
Release date: October 3, 2000


(This portion of the project will be taken from my revisit on 11/26/14. And you know the routine if there are any updated thoughts.)




1. "Intro"
The somewhat obvious "birth" intro leads us right into.....


2. "The Last of a Dying Breed"

"I don't remember much about being born/But I do remember this, I was conceived on February 10th"


  Wow, an excellent, albeit brief, title track here. Not only is Face rapping from the perspective of being inside the womb, he's also coming from the perspective that "there will never be another like him", recognizing this immediately after birth ("was the birth of a dying species, and this I know"). This is a powerful declaration and when you sit down and think about it in hip hop terms, he was right.
 *5 out of 5*


3. "Look Me In My Eyes"

Man, this is classic Scarface right here. Now, we have heard songs before where the artist in question is still haunted by their past, even when it's clear that they have moved on from such activities, however, if the same story is told with such passion to make you FEEL what the artist is saying (like Face does here) and of course done right, it's a winner and that's what "Look Me In My Eyes" is, probably the best song on this album.
*5 out of 5*


4. "It Ain't Part II"
Produced By Erick Sermon

"Still, one of the coldest ever done this shit/And ain't no muthafuckin question on who run this bitch"


To date I have not heard a part one to this and by all means if you run across it, send it to me! (This was cleared up, lol, during my "3 in 1" post on the Geto Boys. Part 1 was indeed on the "Till Death Do Us Part" album and as mentioned then, it's dope as hell.) This is a banger right here, featuring that signature Erick Sermon sound meshing nicely with the smooth, Southern style of Face. Hey, whatever you got going on with you, especially if it's materialistic things, it means nothing to Face. He tells you too, lol.
*5 out of 5*

"Now the moral of this story here is simple and plain/Next time you mention Southern rap, remember the name"


5. "They Down With Us"
Featuring UGK

Mad props to all involved for the nod to the BDP classic "I'm Still #1". In addition, Bun B managed to do something that not too many MCs have done and that's give Face a run for his money on his own song. That's how dope Bun's verse was and Face held up his own too, of course. Now, Pimp C, God rest his soul, I can't say the same about his verse. It wasn't bad, but he really sounded uninspired on this one. Overall, a dope collabo right here
*4 out of 5* (I'm taking this one up a bit to a "4.5 out of 5" rating.)


6. "Sorry For What"

This song is full of confessions and regrets, told in such a deep manner that Face commands your attention and you have no choice but to listen to every word. Remarkable. 
*5 out of 5*


7. "O.G. To Me"
Featuring Tha Dogg Pound and Jayo Felony
Produced By Scarface and Mike Dean

"..... You mark ass bitches is low budget/Straight traitors, so fuck you and that glass dick you puff on/Don't smile in my face, when you see me get the fuck on!" -Face  


Hot damn, Face kills this joint, I mean that opening verse was SO tight that guests Jayo Felony, Daz, and Kurupt literally had no chance of following it up. Speaking of Daz, I feel he had the second best verse, Kurupt really said nothing of note and while I'm not a big Jayo Felony fan, his verse wasn't too bad. Damn good song overall.
*4 out of 5* (I'm going the full "5 out of 5" monty here, largely based on Face's verse alone.)


8. "The Gangsta Shit"

"It's war, so I suggest you call on your troops/Army fatigues ain't shit cause y'all don't shoot"

"I'm a Rap-A-Lot mobster, callin all the shots/From a underboss perspective and y'all gon respect it"

"I refuse to be shorted, I refuse to be defeated/Competition depleted cause my rhymes is so heated"

"You think you hardcore then come show me/Just make sure you comin for real when you come for me"

"It's gon take more than just rappin, more than just sparrin/For y'all niggas to just up and fuck wit Brad Jordan"

"The prominent, dominant one, you niggas loco/And the truth is you hoes couldn't see me wit bifocals"


I almost forgot how DOPE this apply titled banger is. Saying that Face is straight gangsta on all three verses here, complete with the above quotes to back it up, is a complete understatement.
*5 out of 5*


9. "Conspiracy Theory"

Aside from the abrupt ending, this was FINE storytelling from Face, with the main storyline, covering the first and second verses, being about a man who was pretending to be a big mob boss but was really with the FBI the entire time (something you would probably see in a movie). More dope stuff here.
*5 out of 5*

".... I'll teach you niggas conspiracy theories/I spit this shit in code, but I pray that you hear me"


10. "Watch Yo Step"
Produced By Scarface, N.O. Joe, and Swift

"I'm a different type of specimen not known to man/I refuse to lose, I was born to win"


Appropriately titled and dope as hell, almost as gangsta as "The Gangsta Shit".
 *5 out of 5*


11. "Get Out"
Featuring Jay-Z

"When the money get low and the hungriness show, niggas betta get the fuck out the house!"


Lol, well that just about sums up this Jay-Z assisted song with a semi-running story to match. I've never had a problem with this song, but I gotta speak on it a little bit. This song is good, but I really feel we never got that awesome Scarface/Jay-Z collabo. Don't get me wrong, "Guess Who's Back" and "This Can't Be Life", also featuring Beanie Sigel, are great songs, but as far as a true Face/Jay collabo, time may be running out as to whether we get something like that at this point.   
*4 out of 5*


12. "In & Out" 
Featuring Too Short and Devin The Dude

Oh God, after such an incredible sequence of songs, we get this. Now, I've NEVER liked this song and listening to it again confirms why I never liked it. I'm not saying that Face doesn't/didn't have his way with the ladies, nor am I saying he wasn't capable of making a song for the ladies, but I've always felt these types of songs were out of place on his albums. It's clearly THE low point on this album.
*1 out of 5*


13. "And Yo"
Featuring Redman and Young Noble

 For the first time pairing of Face and Redman, this was good, but I feel it could've been so much better. Part of me wants to say that even those both men were still in their primes at this point, the collabo may have been a few years too late. They would do much better on Redman's "Malpractice" album with the banger "Real Niggaz". (Young Noble's verse wasn't bad, but it really came off as out of place here.)
*3 out of 5*


14. "In My Time" 
Produced By Scarface and Tone Capone

Everything comes full circle with this excellent closer. Although Face had already told us that he's "the last of a dying breed", this song finds him in a "born again" state of mind, confirming that as a man and an artist, there's more to come, essentially saying it's "the start of a new beginning". In a nice touch, he also hints at his son continuing his legacy. NICE closing song.
*5 out of 5*



15. "11-9-2000"
Face thanks everyone who has supported him since day one. Listening to this again, you REALLY get the sense that he was retiring and it felt legit.




Wow, what a revisit this was! (It definitely was quite the revisit at the time and I'm not surprised I still have the same views on this album.) This album is in fact a LOT better than I remembered. Face still was on top of his game at this point, delivering one of the best albums of 2000. Furthermore, here's the question: Is this album 5 stars in my book? Well, I want to go the full monty, however, "In & Out" stops that dead in its tracks, plus "And Yo" was good but not great, so here we have a strong, 4.5 star album. (I still feel the same on this one.) Speaking of Face's career, it thankfully continued, as he returned in 2002 with the classic "The Fix", probably my favorite album from him. (We'll get to the bottom of that during the next part of this project, lol!)  "The Last of a Dying Breed" debuted at #7 on the "Billboard 200" chart, moving a respectable 133,972 units in its first week. In the end, ANOTHER excellent album from Face.


RATINGS AND RANKINGS
1. "The Diary" (5 stars)
2. "Mr. Scarface Is Back" (5 stars)
3. "The Untouchable" (4.5 stars)
4. "The Last of a Dying Breed"(4.5 stars)
5. "The World Is Yours" (4.5 stars)




"THE FIX"
Release date: August 6, 2002



1. "The Fix"
This piano laced intro takes us right into.....


2. "Safe"
Produced by China Black

Whether it's the money earned, the power of the mind or the place you call home, Face eloquently talks about keeping such things/environments "safe" at all costs (you want to evolve, not starve). Backed by a brief but nice sample in the form of Gwen McCrae's "I've Got Nothing To Lose But The Blues", this is a VERY good song and it perfectly blends right into.....
*5 out of 5*


3. "In Cold Blood"
Produced by Kanye West

"I ain't plain no games, I'm on a mission fo' the change/Muthafuck being a lame, I'm ten toes in the game"

"And playin for keeps, cause see, it's a thin red line/Between a nigga gettin his and me gettin mine"


This apply titled, Kanye produced banger, complete with a well-timed sample courtesy of Gladys Knight and The Pips' "And This Is Love", is "classic Face", straight gangsta and calculating, yet refined with his approach. The lines above indeed tells this story. A winner right here.
*5 out of 5*

"I turned a dream into reality, wit a fuck you mentality/Silencing all these niggas in the neighborhood who challenged me"


4. "Guess Who's Back"
Featuring Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel, Additional Vocals by Kanye
Produced by Kanye

Oh man, this classic right here. I remember really liking this joint when I first heard it and I also remember it receiving a respectable amount of radio play at the time. Kanye was already in the process of making a name for himself and he continued to be on his way with the production here, along with another well-timed sample thanks to The Originals' "Sunrise." In addition, we already knew that Face and Sigel had good chemistry dating back to "Mac & Brad" from Sigel's "The Truth" album, but when you add Jay-Z into mix, that already served to make an already dope song that much doper. Of the three songs they did together, this is #1 in my view, followed by "This Can't Be Life" from the "Dynasty Roc La Familia" album and "Somehow, Someway" from "The Blueprint 2: The Gift and The Curse", respectively. Nothing but fire right here.
*5 out of 5*


5. "My Block"
Produced by Nashiem Myrick, Co-Produced by Lee Stone




If my memory serves me correctly, I think I heard this on the radio maybe once or twice in '02, but that was it. Long time fans would instantly recognize the sample for this one, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway's "Be Real Black For Me", which was also used by M.O.P. for the song "World Famous." Face returns to familiar territory, talking about where he grew up on a song described by genius.com as "a straight up celebration of ghetto parochialism." Even on a song that has been done quite often in hip hop, Face's perspective sounded so fresh by comparison. Another very good song here.
*5 out of 5*


6. "Keep Me Down"
Produced by Nottz

"This song is about a nigga always trying to keep you down you know."


Again, when you look at the title and the opening description of the song, you already know that this is something that's been covered in hip hop many times over, however, as I always say, if done right, what results is usually something good. Face's perspective on a familiar topic, again, comes off fresh as he highlights those who would rather separate people from their families instead of sticking together. ANOTHER good song in a string of them thus far on this album.
*5 out of 5*


7. "What Can I Do?"
Featuring Kelly Price
Produced by T. Mix

Genius.com described this song as Face "talking about life and death and how taking the good with the bad is a way of how life is." This is a very fitting and accurate description of an excellent song, one that you'll have to take your time with (there will more of that later in this album too). Revisiting this, Face comes with content that would've been suitable for "The Diary" with a flow straight from "The Untouchable." It also showed how reflective Face had become in his music by getting in touch with his spiritual side and you'll notice not one cuss word is found here, likely because he knew God was listening.
*5 out of 5*


8. "In Between Us"
Featuring Nas, Additional Vocals by Tanya Herron
Produced by Face and Mike Dean

No loyal reader, this is not "Favor For A Favor" revisited. The art, if you will, of remaining at the top of your game is touched on by Face and Nas. It's another topic that's been rapped about many times, but you can always count on MCs the caliber of Face and Nas to bring a fresh perspective to it. This was a surefire "5 out of 5" song, however, I'm unfortunately deducting .5 for the hook. There's an argument to be made that Ms. Herron's delivery adds something to the song, but I personally didn't like how it was done.
*4.5 out of 5*


9. "Someday"
Featuring Faith Evans
Produced by The Neptunes

This would mark the first and only time Face collaborated with the Neptunes. He also dedicated this song to Curtis Davis and Big Mello. Along with Ms. Faith Evans on the hook, Face again gets in touch with his spiritual side here and delivers another excellent song in the process. It's never too late to become one with God and ask him for guidance along the way. Six minutes well spent.
*5 out of 5*

"Even gangstas need to pray"


10. "Sellout"
Produced by T. Mix

So, on the issue of "selling out", does Face once again bring a fresh perspective to something so familiar in the hip hop world? In a word, yes. Although the second and third verses are tight, the most notable verse is the first, which finds Face calling out those "makin bullshit records and ruining Rap." Keep in mind, this was '02 and the state of hip hop at this point was WORLD'S better than what we get today (Face has also commented on this very issues during interviews as recent as 2014-2015). He also makes it clear he would rather "stay in the ghetto cause the hood stay truest" and continuing to realize that once you "cross the other side of the track, you can't come back." Good stuff here.
*4 out of 5*


11. "Heaven"
Featuring Kelly Price
Produced by Kanye and T. Mix

At the beginning of this song, Face states it's "gonna be some shit you might not understand, you may have to rewind this shit a few times." Each time I have bumped this, I have done just that and when it was over, I often wondered what Face's meaning of heaven is here. Well, the short explanation, according to genius.com, is that he touches on "the kingdom of Heaven." This song is about as deep as they come and it is one you really have to take your time with and form your own conclusion at the end. Otherwise it's another excellent song.
*5 out of 5*


12. "I Ain't The One"
Featuring W.C., Additional Vocals by Tanya Herron
Produced by Tony Pizzaro and Flip

The album prepares to come to a close in an apply titled fashion. Aside from a few questionable lines, W.C. held his own alongside Face, plus Ms. Herron did well on the hook as opposed to "In Between Us."
*4 out of 5*


13. "Fixed"



Well, this album has spoken once again, lol: it is my favorite Face album (plus it happens to be one of my favorite "post-2000" albums). I'm sure this will still be challenged in some form by "The Diary", but the cohesiveness and damn near flawlessness of this album can't go unnoticed. To say that Face fired on all cylinders would be quite the understatement. The production was still very good/excellent all around, but what really made this album stand out was Face's lyrical skills (still sharp) and his continuous growth as an artist. He still comes with a "refined edge", but nowhere near close to being soft in any form. You can also say this was one of his first albums to truly have something for everyone (and again, that may be challenged by "The Diary" and even "The Last of a Dying Breed."), plus he was one of VERY few people who could get Nas and Jay-Z on the same album during this period. It debuted at #4 on the "Billboard 200" chart, moving 160,000 units in its first week, definitely one of the best albums of 2002. This marks ANOTHER excellent album from Face and you'll notice not one of his albums thus far has dipped below a 4/4.5 star rating, which is remarkable.





RATINGS AND RANKINGS
1. "The Fix" (5 stars)
2. "The Diary" (5 stars)
3. "Mr. Scarface Is Back" (5 stars)
4. "The Untouchable" (4.5 stars)
5. "The Last of a Dying Breed"(4.5 stars)
6. "The World Is Yours" (4.5 stars)


Lol check this out, almost immediately after typing this, the thought of "The Fix" being challenged by "The Diary" just got stronger. Wow.




"BALLS AND MY WORD"
Release date: April 8, 2003


A few words on this one before I continue. Over the years, I've heard two stories about this album: 1) There was some sort of dispute behind the scenes between Face and Rap-A-Lot Records CEO J. Prince, which resulted in this album being released without Face's permission and 2) The songs were previously unreleased/outtakes that didn't make the final cut of previous albums (likely dating back to "The Last of a Dying Breed"), organized by J. Prince himself. Whatever the case is, revisiting this one will be very interesting because I haven't bumped this one in a LONG time.




1. "Balls And My Word"
Produced by DJ Ready Red

This is the same bass driven, "Scarface" quote heavy song that was include on the Geto Boys' "Making Trouble" album (its SOLE highlight) and considering the title, I guess it was only right to include it here.
*4 out of 5*


2. "Recognize"
Produced by Ensayne Wayne

This is "classic Face" right here, all the way through, and lyrically he simply WORKS Ensayne Wayne's production like it's nothing. This would've been perfect on the "Last of a Dying Breed" album that's for sure.
*5 out of 5*


3. "On My Grind"
Featuring Z-Ro
Produced by T-Mix

"When I was in the sixth grade, these niggas was bitch made/They was thinking science, I was thinking get paid"


A man like Face has definitely been on the grind for quite some time, as referenced in the lines above, and even when talking about this, another familiar topic in hip hop, it really sounds so fresh coming from Face. I'm sure most men can relate to being on the (constant) grind, ensuring the receiving of the dollars by any means necessary (and other things). Z-Ro comes through on the hook as well, backed by some West Coast esque production thanks to T-Mix.
*5 out of 5*


4. "Bitch Nigga"
Featuring Z-Ro, Dirt Bomb and Bun B
Produced by Mike Dean

I'll keep this one short and sweet: think of the song on Dr. Dre's "2001" album with the same title, apply that same theme here, but slightly harder. Familiar territory, but again it works.
*4.5 out of 5*


5. "Stuck At A Standstill"
Produced by N.O. Joe

A good song here, which finds Face talking about those who choose a particular lifestyle (usually something related to the streets), but have no clue what they're getting into, hence being "stuck at a standstill." 
*4 out of 5*


6. "Strapped"
Nothing but an interlude here.


7. "Only Your Mother"
Featuring Devin the Dude and Tela
Produced by T-Mix

"You're a rich nigga's worst mistake/You're just a trophy and what make matters worse, you're fake"


Face's lines above, as well as others in this song, ultimately tell this story about the "golddigging woman." Usually you wouldn't find Devin and Tela too far behind when it came to a song like this. And speaking of Tela, I've never saw the appeal of this guy and while he didn't bring this song down, his closing verse paled in comparison to Face and Devin's. The moral of this story is that only this type of woman can get unconditional love from her mother because she wouldn't get it from the man/men she's trying to lure in, so to speak. This song would've worked BETTER on the "Last of a Dying Breed" album instead of the forgettable "In & Out."
*3.5 out of 5*


8. "Make Your Peace"
Produced by Mike Dean and Tone Capone

This is another excellent song where you have to take your time with it, as Face challenges you to journey with him as he envisions what his life would be after death, even by way of suicide. Also, there's no cuss word to be found, so he definitely gives the impression that God is listening in and watching. Deep.
*5 out of 5*


9. "Spend The Night"
Featuring Aries
Produced by 7 Aurelius

Face's flow here along with another West Coast esque production was just begging for a guest appearance from Snoop Dogg. I can imagine this one was for the ladies, but it's not too soft for the fellas.
*3 out of 5*


10. "Mary II"
Produced by Mike Dean and Tone Capone

I bet most either don't know or remember there being a part two to "Mary." I'll say this: Face tried with this sequel to its classic predecessor from the "Untouchable" album. A good song to be sure, but it falls short of recapturing the magic from the original.
*4 out of 5*


11. "Dirty Money"
Featuring Tanya Herron
Produced by Mike Dean

This joint is all about the lasting effects of "dirty money", nothing or less here.
*3.5 out of 5*


12. "Fuck'n With Face"
Produced by Sam Sneed

Yes, that Sam Sneed of "U Better Recognize" fame (a classic) was behind the boards for this one. This could be viewed as a reprise of "Recognize", while at the same time warning foes and competition of what to expect when you "fuck with Face."
*4 out of 5*


13. "Invincible"
Produced by Mr. Lee and N.O. Joe

This may have been the first time that Face had used the "double time flow" and he works it well on this appropriately titled song. Why this didn't make the final cut on one of his prior studio albums is beyond me.
*4.5 out of 5*


14. "Real Nigga Blues"
Featuring Lil' Papa Roach
Produced by Mike Dean

Lil' Papa Roach gets 5:06 to shine here. It's an extended poem of sorts, but in a Southern hip hop form. 
*4 out of 5*



This album, compilation or otherwise, had little to no promotion, but still was able to peak at #20 on the "Billboard 200" chart. A good number of the songs here should've made the aforementioned final cut on whichever album it was set to appear on, but I guess they didn't make it for a reason. All things considered, this may be an obvious slight step down from the albums we've already talked about, but overall "Balls And My Word" can be summed up as very good and it works for the most part.


RATINGS AND RANKINGS
1. "The Fix" (5 stars)
2. "The Diary" (5 stars)
3. "Mr. Scarface Is Back" (5 stars)
4. "The Untouchable" (4.5 stars)
5. "The Last of a Dying Breed"(4.5 stars)
6. "The World Is Yours" (4.5 stars)
7. "Balls And My Word" (4 stars)




"MADE"
Release date: December 4, 2007


I bought this album on its release date, along with Ghostface Killah's "The Big Doe Rehab", also released on the same day, from Best Buy. 



THIS JUST IN! You know, after thinking about this more, I AM going with "The Diary" as my favorite Face album. Yes, "The Fix" is excellent, however, "Diary" will be my pick going forward, not just because it's also an excellent album, but there is the strong nostalgia factor that plays a key role here as you may have guessed. So yeah, there you have it, lol. "The Diary" is #1, 'The Fix" is #2, etc, etc.




1. "Intro"
Well, we certainly haven't heard much from J. Prince during this project, however, he leads this intro. I didn't have that much of a problem with what he said, but I feel he should've used this intro to highlight Face's longevity in hip hop at this point and his status as a "made man", especially in a musical form. Nevertheless, this takes us right into.....


2. "Never"
Produced by Drumma Boy and N.O. Joe

"I never ran, I never will, I ain't never scared/It's in my bloodline, the realest nigga ever bred/And that's some of the realest shit that I done ever said/And I can die but through my lyrics, I ain't never dead"


Oh man, talk about two underrated producers behind the boards here in the form of N.O. Joe and Drumma Boy. As you likely would've guessed, the word "never" is the running theme on this TIGHT song, with no hook. Face highlights all of the things he would never do as long as he's breathing. I know there's the saying "never say never", but I truly feel Face is one on a respectable list of MCs who has backed up everything he has said and/or done in hip hop since day one.
*5 out of 5*


3. "Big Dog Status"
Featuring Wacko of UTP
Produced by N.O. Joe

There aren't too many songs where you'll hear Face essentially flossing on record, however, when we do get a song like that, which is what this is, he tends to do it well, even if the subject has been touched on CONSTANTLY in hip hop. "Big dog status" indeed.
*4 out of 5*


4. "Girl You Know"
Produced by Nottz

I remember hearing this one on the radio for a brief minute and that was it (you can attribute that to Trey Songz, who was on that very version as well as the video). Nottz did a very good job flipping Lenny Williams' classic "Because I Love You", ensuring that the ladies would love this , while at the same time not being too soft for the fellas.
*4 out of 5*


5. "Burn"
Featuring Z-Ro
Produced by N.O. Joe

Rapreviews.com described this song as Face "exploring killer's remorse (or lack thereof)" and that's a fairly accurate statement. You can also say this was vintage Scarface, by way of 2007. I was also on the verge of comparing it to Killer Mike's song of the same name, but decided against that mainly because they're two different songs.
*4 out of 5*


6. "Go"
Featuring Nina
Produced by One Drop Scott

A(nother) song for the ladies on a Face album was not something new at this point, so it was no surprise that we got this one. You know, he admits to his selfish ways and desiring some type of female companionship.... but if you get in the way of any of his progress, um, he'll show you the door (lol). He'll tell you that too.
*3 out of 5*


7. "Dollar"
Produced by Tone Capone

Coming with what could be described as a "3-4 word" flow in terms of his lines, Face breaks down why "the world revolves around the Dollar", nothing more or less.
*4 out of 5*


8. "Boy Meets Girl"
Featuring Tanya Herron
Produced by John Bido, N.O. Joe and Mike Dean

Face's fantastic storytelling skills are on full display here. Although this is not based on a true story, and it very well could be in any other situation, the "boy" in this story is heroin and the "girl" is cocaine and Face's description of that relationship, if you will, from start to finish, is easy to follow and understand.
*5 out of 5*


9. "Who Do You Believe In"
Produced by Enigma

This song can be looked at in two ways: considering certain happenings along the way, Face is seeking to understand what others believe in (God, religion, the value of friendship, etc), plus he's challenging the listener to explore the same things in reverse. It's quite the psychological experience to say the very least and it's effective in that regard.
*5 out of 5*


10. "Git Out My Face"
Produced by Enigma

This song is ok and I get what Face was going for, but this sounded more like a song Ludacris would make to be honest with you, and that's no knock on either man.
*3 out of 5*


11. "The Suicide Note"
Produced by Tone Capone, Cozmo, N.O. Joe and Mike Dean

"A heart wrenching tale of depression and life lost" is how rapreviews.com described this song and again, it's accurate as Face copes with the suicide of a close friend. You know, I may be over-analyzing this, but even though you can tell this was penned 100 percent by Face, he does give the impression that the friend wrote this in a song form for Face personally, almost as if to say he wanted a future in hip hop had suicide not been an option. Deep stuff here.
*5 out of 5*


12. "Outro"


For myself and others who purchased this from Best Buy, up next are three exclusive bonus tracks.


*13. "B" Word
Produced by N.O. Joe

I wouldn't say that this is for the ladies, lol, but it's definitely directed at them (you can say the title of the song gives it away in a sense). Face not only calls out those specific who "act" like bitches, he also finds hilarious ways to use other words that begin with "b" (lol).
*4 out of 5*


*14. "Crack"
Produced by N.O. Joe and Mike Dean

Face breaks down the effects of crack in the ghetto. Nothing we haven't heard before, but it's still a good song.
*4 out of 5*


*15. "Big Dog Status (Remix)"
Featuring T.I., Lil' Wayne and Wacko
Produced by N.O. Joe

Excluding Lil' Wayne's unnecessary verse (it was brief, but he still said NOTHING), this was a very good remix. Face, T.I. and Wacko live up to the "big dog status" title.
*4 out of 5*



I'm going to talk about the album's success first. It hit #17 on the "Billboard 200" and #2 on the "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums" charts, respectively, plus the Trey Songz assisted version of "Girl You Know" made a little noise on the radio. When I first bumped this, I thought it was pretty good, but outside of a few occasions here and there, I never really revisited it all that often (it has aged well in spots). All things considered, I still have no problem with awarded it the rating I'm about to give it. It's still vintage Face all the way through (circa '07), complete with a "Made" state of mind. 


RATINGS AND RANKINGS
1. "The Diary" (5 stars)
2. "The Fix" (5 stars)
3. "Mr. Scarface Is Back" (5 stars)
4. "The Untouchable" (4.5 stars)
5. "The Last of a Dying Breed"(4.5 stars)
6. "The World Is Yours" (4.5 stars)
7. "Made" (4 stars)
8. "Balls And My Word" (4 stars)




"EMERITUS"
Release date: December 2, 2008


1. "Intro"
Another J. Prince led intro leads us right into.....


2. "High Powered"
Featuring Papa Rue
Produced by N.O. Joe

I think this was the first time that Face had rocked a song with a reggae influence, even in the slightest sense and it's rather dope too. Face works N.O. Joe's slammin production with such ease warning against snitching and those who participate in it.
*5 out of 5*


3. "Forgot About Me"
Featuring Bun B and Lil' Wayne
Produced by Cool & Dre

Oh man, I almost forgot how much of a banger this joint is. First off, major props to Cool & Dre for the slammin production and the well-timed sample courtesy of Billy Paul's "I'm Just A Prisoner." The verses were equally tight from Face and Bun, who probably steals the show here, which is difficult to do on a track with Face, and hey, I'm not a fan of this guy, but even Lil' Wayne didn't ruin the song with his opening verse. Dope stuff here.
*5 out of 5*


4. "Can't Get Right"
Featuring Bilal
Produced by Nottz

Long time fans will recognize the sample courtesy of the Ohio Players' "Good Luck Charm", which was also utilized by Nas for "Last Words" on his "Nastradamus" album. With Bilal on the hook, Face talks about completely wanting to get to the promised land, so to speak, but just can't quite make it for some reason. It's not due to himself and what's doing, but he's basing it on life in general. Very good song.
*5 out of 5*


5. "Still Here"
Featuring Shateish
Produced by Nottz

What most may have forgotten or probably didn't recognize was in the album's insert, it says "Song Inspired by Ice Cube." Revisiting this, it is the case because this is Face's excellent remake of Cube's "Dead Homiez" from the "Kill At Will" EP. In addition to recognizing those who lost their lives over the years, Face seems to be very humbled knowing that he's still alive and breathing considering his own past experiences, so in that regard it does the covers the same theme from "Dead Homiez" while adding another layer to it, circa '08. I'm sure somewhere along the way Cube has heard this and liked it.
*5 out of 5*


6. "It's Not A Game"
Additional Vocals by Tekai "Cookie" Hicks
Produced by Illmind

On the road to the riches, diamond rings and life's finer things, it's definitely not a game, even though the hustle is real. This type of lifestyle does come with a set of consequences that a lot of men (and women) haven't learned from. ANOTHER good song.
*4 out of 5*


7. "Who Are They"
Featuring K-Rino and Slim Thug, Additional Vocals by Porsha
Produced by Illmind

Face, K-Rino and Slim Thug pull no punches reflecting on the rejection they received from women, dating back to their high school years, but years later, they enjoy the fact of thumbing their collective noises at those same women who would give them the time of day..... only when they see the success and other things. I tend to like songs like this, lol, especially when they're done right.
*4 out of 5*


8. "Soldier Story"
The Product featuring Z-Ro
Produced by Tone Capone

I would describe this song as another one about survival, and along with that comes being street smart, being money-oriented and never snitching. It's safe to say that while this is a decent song, we have heard this before.
*3.5 out of 5*


9. "Redemption Song"
Produced by N.O. Joe

Ok, this is a dope, straight forward song (with no hook), however, I question putting it at #9 instead letting it close the album. Why is that? Well, listening to it, the impression is almost clear: this was Face bringing his career full circle and it comes off like it's his swan song. More on this later.
*4.5 out of 5*


10. "High Note"
Additional Vocals by CONTACT
Produced by Jake One

Quite frankly, the ladies would love this one more than the fellas would (then again, from Face's point of view, the significant other in a woman's life is treated like a complete non-factor here lol, basically saying what your man can't do, he will and then some). I liked how Jake One used Willie Hutch's "Never Let You Be Without Love."
*3.5 out of 5*


11. "We Need You"
Featuring Wacko
Produced by N.O. Joe

Face and Wacko literally have no time for "unreal individuals" (they can see right through you). That about sums this up
*3 out of 5*


12. "Unexpected"
Featuring Wacko
Produced by Young Cee and Sha Money XL

It's all about respect and it's something that Face commands and demands, bottom line.
*4 out of 5*


13. "Emeritus"
Produced by Scram Jones

Dictionary.com defines the song's title as "retired or honorably discharged from active professional duty, but retaining the title of one's office or position." Backed by a slice of dope production courtesy of Scram Jones, Face goes in here and this also comes off like a swan song, with no hook as well.
*5 out of 5*


14. "Outro"



I want to address two things: 1) Heading into this, it was apparently rumored that this was Face's final album, but looking back at late '08 going into '09, I don't recall hearing or seeing that particular rumor anywhere. 2) None of the songs on this album graced radio or TV, plus the lack of promotion unfortunately did this album no favors. Simply put, the final Scarface album should be a VERY big deal of course and if/when he does call it a career, it should be treated with a bang and not a whimper, just saying. 

It's certainly not going to take me long to say that this is the album that "Made" should've been and overall it's much better. And with hindsight being 20/20. I don't think Face was looking for this to be his last album, just probably wanted another deserved hiatus from hip hop, which it what ended up happening before he would return to the scene and drop 2015's "Deeply Rooted", which will be discussed next. The usual was brought to "Emeritus": very good/excellent production matched with Face's precision on the mic and trust me, even "the usual" from Face is better than most artists on their best days. Despite the lack of promotion/hype, it hit #24 on the "Billboard 200" chart and moved 167,000 units as of August 2015. 




RATINGS AND RANKINGS
1. "The Diary" (5 stars)
2. "The Fix" (5 stars)
3. "Mr. Scarface Is Back" (5 stars)
4. "The Untouchable" (4.5 stars)
5. "The Last of a Dying Breed"(4.5 stars)
6. "The World Is Yours" (4.5 stars)
7. "Emeritus" (4.5 stars)
8. "Made" (4 stars)
9. "Balls And My Word" (4 stars)




"DEEPLY ROOTED"
Release date: September 4, 2015


I purchased this album on its release date from Best Buy.



1. "Intro"
Another piano driven intro takes us right into.....


2. "Rooted"
Featuring Papa Rue
Produced by N.O. Joe

"It's in my DNA, my blood type G/My roots is deep up in these muthafuckin streets!"


Genius.com correctly described this song as "an introspective track about staying true to himself" and "it can serve as a thesis statement to what this album is about." True words right here and with the backing of some dope N.O. Joe production and the reggae styled hook provided by Papa Rue, this is vintage Face all the way through.
*5 out of 5*


3. "The Hot Seat"
Additional Vocals by Jack Freeman
Produced by N.O. Joe

In full storytelling mode here, Face sheds light on quite a familiar topic in hip hop: the Black man being a target of law enforcement. It's an easy to follow/understand story, relevant to how the Black man (and woman for that matter) continues to be treated in the Trump era and how avoiding the aforementioned "hot seat" is a struggle for most.
*5 out of 5*


4. "Dope Man Pushin"
Featuring Papa Rue
Produced by N.O. Joe and Spuf Don

I was on the verge of saying that Face was trying to equate "dope" to hip hop music, but as this song continued on, it dawned on me that that was not the case. When you look at the title, you can pretty much figure out instantly what this song is about. Face also comes with a growl that you never heard from him over the years. And now when I think about it, this was more of Rick Ross type song if you ask me.
*3 out of 5*


5. "Fuck You Too"
Featuring Z-Ro
Produced by Chuck Heat, Co-Produced by N.O. Joe

Another vintage Face joint right here. We have heard these types of songs before, where the artist(s) in question throw the proverbial "fuck you" to their adversaries, haters, detractors, jealous cats, etc, no matter what their tenure in hip hop is/was at the time of the recording. Decent song.
*4 out of 5*


6. "Steer"
Featuring Rush Davis
Produced by Luke Walker

This is what I would call a fine dose of creative storytelling from beginning to end. Even the opening of the hook, "staring down the barrel of a Colt 45" sets the scene. Also, this was the album's first single, however, you would've never known that because it didn't grace any radio or TV stations to my knowledge. In short, Face is driving "under the influence" with the police hot on his trail and rather than do something irresponsible, he's seeking help from God, hoping that he will "steer" him in the right direction. This almost borrows from concept of Nas' "Drunk By Myself", another fine dose of creative storytelling, but with slightly different context. The way Face takes you into his world by way of his words is nothing short of amazing.
*5 out of 5


7. "Anything"
Additional Vocals by Rich Andruws
Produced by N.O. Joe, Co-Produced by Nottz

Before I talk about this song briefly, I just want to mention that I liked how the songs on this album merged into the next, so whoever mastered it did a great job in that aspect. Now, this song, again, nothing we haven't heard before in terms of dong whatever it takes to get the money. No matter how long you've been on the grind, the hustle continues to be real.
*4 out of 5*


8. "Do What I Do"
Featuring Nas, Rick Ross and Z-Ro
Produced by N.O. Joe and Spuf Don

Well loyal reader, this is quite the excellent, apply titled song as you can imagine. I've often mentioned that Nas and Rick Ross have such great chemistry together, adding in Face (and Z-Ro) only ensured the continued chemistry when you combined all three of their talents. Tight stuff here.


9. "God"
Featuring John Legend
Produced by EP and N.O. Joe

Face once again gets in touch with his spiritual side, delivering another excellent song in the process. He not only talks about what would happen if he "played God for a day" in the opening verse, he also asks, in the second verse, "Just imagine if the devil had a day/And God had took a break and walked away, would you feel safe?" A very interesting question and I can assume most, if not all, of us have never thought about that until now. Genius.com also pointed out that "Face doesn't lose any street credibility when making inspirational songs." Of course not.
*5 out of 5*


10. "Keep It Movin"
Featuring Avant
Produced by N.O. Joe and Spuf Don

Let's see: if Avant has a guest appearance on a hip hop song, what's the result? If you said "a song for the ladies", you're absolutely right. In this case, Face is trying to move on from an ex-girlfriend, but it's easier said than done for a variety of reasons.
*3 out of 5*


11. "You"
Featuring Cee-Lo Green
Produced by EP and N.O. Joe

A (strong) case can be made that this song could've/should've closed the album. Face not only reflects on his past and learning lessons along the way, he cautions today's generation to take heed to what he's saying and not follow the same paths and make the same mistakes he did, especially when it came to listening to mother. At the end of the third verse, he says "you are gifted, it's up to you to make the best decision/cause one day I'll be leaving this game and y'all have to carry on my name."
*5 out of 5*


12. "All Bad"
Additional Vocals by G.I. and Angela Maye
Produced by EP, Co-Produced by N.O. Joe

No, Ms. Angela and I are not related, lol, before you even ask. What this song touches on is the importance of taking every day one day at a time and making it count all the way, no doubt.
*5 out of 5*


13. "Voices"
Produced by M.Mac and J. Baum

This one here you may have to take your time with just a bit as Face deals with the inner voices, making him ultimately place mind over matter, verbal prevention.
*4 out of 5*


14. "No Problem"
Produced by KEY

30 plus years in the game, who WANTS it with Face at this point? With no hook, he is all bars and lyrical aggressive. I feel this was to show and prove that he still has it as the main part of the album comes to a close.
*5 out of 5*


15. "Outro"


BEST BUY BONUS TRACKS


*16. "Exit Plan"
Featuring Akon
Produced by Kardiak




The first of three bonus tracks finds Face, with Akon on the hook, stressing the importance of keeping it real, staying true to yourself, being about your paper, staying on the grind and remaining strong. Yes indeed, vintage Face here (again).
*5 out of 5*


*17. "Mental Exorcism"
Featuring Alex Isley
Produced by Amir Epstein and Arthur McArthur

"This song is about the emotional turmoil of doing what one does on the streets while facing one's own demons" is how genius.com describes this one and respectively, there's not much more I can add to that. Any other time I would rate this higher, but at this point in the album, even as a bonus track, it's still more of the same while being a good song in its own right.
*5 out of 5*


*18. "I Don't Know"
Produced by DJ Buddha

This was more or less the sequel to "Keep It Movin", nothing more or less. This was an anti-climatic way to close the album, especially in the form of a bonus track.
*2 out of 5*



"Deeply Rooted" has a few elements. It showed that even with such a distinguished tenure in hip hop, Face still has it on the mic and hasn't lost one step. Revisiting this again for the first time in a while, it doesn't come off like it's his last album and quite frankly I hope it isn't, plus the album title itself would suggest he's not calling it quits any time soon. Overall, it's an excellent album, one of the best albums of 2015 (probably the best that year) and it was heavily slept on at the time of its release, unfortunately receiving even less hype/buzz/promotion than "Emeritus" did in '08, and trust me, the multiple sung hooks does not hurt any aspect of this album (it's different but welcomed). I feel most won't fully get the impact of this album until a few years after the fact. It hit #11 on the "Billboard 200" chart, moving only 22,180 units to date, which you can attribute to the lack of promotion and the continuously changing nature of the music industry (in terms of how albums are purchased), so through no fault of his own, it is his lowest selling album. Where does Face go from here? Only Face knows at this point and I'm not convinced he's done.




And with ALL this being said loyal reader, we have come to the very end of the "Untouchable Scarface Project." But before I close, I do want to touch on a few things as mentioned in the introduction, so let's get right to it!




My favorite Face album

Even during the course of this project, I went back and forth a bit in terms of my favorite Face album, however, after thinking about it a bit more, as mentioned, I can comfortably say again that "The Diary" IS my favorite Face album and all things considered, that likely won't change, even in the face of "The Fix" giving it a run for its money. 

MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM
When you consider the sheer quality of Face's discography, this is a tough one to answer. A case can be made for "The World Is Yours", "The Untouchable", "The Last of a Dying Breed" and even "Deeply Rooted." Now, if I had to pick one, I would definitely go with "The World Is Yours." It still remains tough to answer though, lol.

TOP 25 SONGS (in no order)
1. "Born Killer"
2. "Diary of a Madman"
3. "Lettin' Em Know"
4. "Let Me Roll"
5. "Now I Feel Ya"
6. "The White Sheet"
7. "No Tears"
8. "I Seen A Man Die"
9. "Hand of the Dead Body"
10. "Mind Playin' Tricks 94"
11. "Smile"
12. "Mary Jane"
13. "Game Over"
14. "Look Me In My Eyes"
15. "It Ain't Pt. II"
16. "In Cold Blood"
17. "Guess Who's Back"
18. "Someday"
19. "Heaven"
20. "The Suicide Note"
21. "High Powered"
22. "Still Here"
23. "Never"
24. "Rooted"
25. "Steer"


TOP 10 COLLABORATIONS (in no order)
1. "Favor For A Favor" (Nas - I Am)
2. "Mac & Brad" (Beanie Sigel - The Truth)
3. "This Can't Be Life" (Jay-Z - The Dynasty Roc La Familia)
4. "Two To The Head" (Kool G Rap & DJ Polo - Live And Let Die)
5. "Betrayal" (Gang Starr - Moment Of Truth)
6. "Mom Praying" (Beanie Sigel - The Reason"
7. "Baby Don't Do It" (Freeway - Free At Last)
8. "Hip Hop" (DJ Khaled - Kiss The Ring)
9. "WWIII" (Ruff Ryders - Ryde Or Die Vol. 2)
10. "Blessing In Disguise" (Rick Ross - Mastermind)




Oh man, what more can I say about Brad "Scarface" Jordan?? This man's career literally speaks for itself and I have NO problem calling him the greatest MC of all time from the South, no question about that. The way he has matured as a person and as an artist, from his early Geto Boys days until this present day speaks volumes, and we can't forget about the precision on the mic, the excellent storytelling skills and his ability to take you into his world via the power/intellect of his WORDS, again, nothing short of amazing. And speaking of excellent, that really defines his discography, which has its share of classics and NOTHING under 4 stars, which is remarkable and it shows the caliber of MC he really is. Even "Balls And My Word", which ranks at the bottom, couldn't be considered a "worst" album, think about that. Plus, add in the quality of the Geto Boys' albums from "Grip It! On That Other Level" up to "The Resurrection", we're looking at a SUPERB body of work, as well as the respectable number of guest appearances, most of which he stole the show on.  In closing, if Face is reading, on behalf of all of your fans, I just wanna say THANK YOU for ALL of your contributions to hip hop dating all the way back to "Making Trouble!!" Your legacy in hip hop has already been cemented and it will always be cherished. Thank you!! Such a tremendous career!


FINAL SCARFACE RATINGS AND RANKINGS
1. "The Diary" (5 stars)
2. "The Fix" (5 stars)
3. "Mr. Scarface Is Back" (5 stars)
4. "The Untouchable" (4.5 stars)
5. "The Last of a Dying Breed"(4.5 stars)
6. "The World Is Yours" (4.5 stars)
7. "Deeply Rooted" (4.5 stars)
8. "Emeritus" (4.5 stars)
9. "Made" (4 stars)
10. "Balls And My Word" (4 stars)

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