Scarface
The Diary


4.5
superb

Review

by somberlain USER (64 Reviews)
February 24th, 2010 | 51 replies | 14,286 views


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The godfather of southern rap delivers his best, most consistent album

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

After the break up of the Geto Boys, their most notorious member released his third and best album to date. More streamlined and with less filler than his previous effort, “The Diary” is filled with violent gangsta tales but also with some very thought provoking tracks. The brevity of the album makes it very easy to listen to especially since it has several amazing tracks.

On “The Diary,” Scarface strikes a good balance between the usual tales of drugs or murder and compelling observations of life in the ghetto. The track “No Tears,” is a perfect synopsis of the album, after one of his friend’s funeral he’s looking for revenge: “An eye for an eye, so now your life is what you owe me,” mourning the death of his friend but now concerned with murdering the culprit. Towards the end of the track, Scarface also shows the fear of losing his mind: “I'm goin off on the deep end, I find myself face to face with myself while I'm sleepin.” Over a simple bass-heavy beat that really is nothing special but fit’s the mood of the song, a theme that continues throughout the album.

In his twenty years in the game, it’s hard to find a more powerful song in Scarface’s extensive discography than “Seen a Man Die.” This track talks about a young man who just got out of prison which somehow evolves into talking about death with the chilling lyrics: “I watch him die and when he dies let us celebrate” over a thumping bass line and some appropriately eerie strings that enhance the dramatic effect of the lyrics. If you watch the video to this track you can truly feel it’s power when you see Scarface as the embodiment of death standing over a young man in a hospital bed who is battling between life and death:

“I hear you breathin' but your heart no longer sounds strong
But you kinda scared to die and so you hold on
And you keep on blacking out cause and your pulse is low
Stop trying to fight the reaper just relax and let it go
Because there's no way you can fight it though you'll still try
And you can try it til you fight it but you'll still die


Scarface is joined by Ice Cube on “Hand of the Dead Body” which is a counterattack on the media for their portrayal of gangsta rap and he also reprises the best known Geto Boys track on the Isaac Hayes sampling “Mind Playing Tricks On Me ‘94.” The tracks “One” and “Goin’ Down” seem a bit out of place and somewhat disrupt the album’s flow, just tired tales of weed and hos that aren’t terrible but don’t really keep with “The Diary’s” theme.

The slick, understated production done by usual Scarface collaborators Mike Dean and N.O. Joe is solid if unspectacular but serve to highlight Scarface’s booming voice and powerful lyrics. While his lyricism may not be jaw-dropping, it’s good and his voice really commands your attention.
“The Diary” is without a doubt Scarface’s magnum opus and as far as content, it stands head and shoulders above the rest of his discography. While tracks like “The White Sheet” and “Jesse James” are simply trigger happy murder raps, a lot of the album contains much deeper subject matter and that’s what makes this a truly compelling listen.

Recommended tracks:
Seen a Man Die
No Tears
Hand of the Dead Body



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Comments:Add a Comment 
somberlain
February 24th 2010



2121 Comments


Easily my fav southern rap album

shindip
February 24th 2010



3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

bout time someone reviewed this

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2010



31047 Comments


My second favourite from Scarface

Digging: Marcel Dettmann - Fabric 77

shindip
February 24th 2010



3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

whats ur first? this is his only album Ive heard.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2010



31047 Comments


Mr. Scarface Is Back - it's his debut

somberlain
February 24th 2010



2121 Comments


love his debut but i think this is better, my ranking:
1 this
2 The Fix
3 Mr Scarface is Back

Bulldog
February 24th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Awww sh*t, n*gg*! It's another muhf*ckin somberlain review for yo muhf*ckin a*s b*tch.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2010



31047 Comments


1. Debut
2. This
3. Emeritus (crazy I know)

hydeyomoney
February 24th 2010



934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

How the hell haven't heard this yet, i freakin LOVE "Never Seen A Man Cry"

somberlain
February 24th 2010



2121 Comments


"3. Emeritus (crazy I know)"
uh yeah. I hope The Fix is 4 then

and hydeyo best Scarface song ever, check out the album

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2010



31047 Comments


The Fix is tied in 4th spot with My Homies parts 1 & 2

FistfulOfSteel
February 24th 2010



894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is sick.

illmitch
February 24th 2010



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

great review, great album

JulesWin
February 25th 2010



993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"great review, great album"

I agree


RoshanC
February 25th 2010



219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One is my favourite on this album, its so damn funky, but great review and its my favourite southern rap as well

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 25th 2010



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

1. Diary
2. The Fix
3. Emeritus

O.J. Simpson
April 25th 2010



408 Comments


4. MADE

BigHans
August 18th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have absolutely no fucking clue how or why I wasn't aware of this in the 90's when I listened to a shitload of hip hop. Seriously, I should have discovered this about 15 years ago.

Love the fact that the scene from Office Space where Bolton is rapping is found on "No Tears."

BigHans
August 18th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for rec Chambered

KILL
August 18th 2010



71087 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome awesome awesome

Digging: David Axelrod - Song of Innocence



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