Review Summary: Scarface gets away from what he usually does but there’s enough here for longtime fans to get their 'Fix'
Scarface is unflappable, how does he react to the constant hassling by the DEA and FBI? By naming his seventh solo album The Fix
and including the liner notes in a little plastic baggie. If you’re familiar with Scarface’s music, this reaction should come as no surprise, growing up in Houston’s 5th Ward, his raps reflect his tough upbringing, vivid street tales and crime narratives that have made him one of hip-hop’s most respected artists.
So after being named the president of Def Jam South Scarface was bound to mellow out a bit right? Well he definitely approaches this album like a business man with a few radio-friendly tracks and R&B-ish songs. The multiple guest spots are nothing new with Scarface since he’s collaborated with just about every rapper you can think of but leave it to Akshen to have both Nas and Jay-Z on his album at the height of their feud.
The first proper track ‘Safe’ is a bluesy track with great horn stabs produced by China Black (?) over which Scarface spits his usual hood tales in his own unique manner, it might be nothing new but he can do it better than most. Kanye West contributes a few beats, the Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel feature ‘Guess Who’s Back’ and the outstanding “In Cold Blood’ featuring Kanye’s trademark soulful style. ‘In Between Us’ features a great guest spot from Nas, produced by Scarface himself and his longtime contributor Mike Dean, it also features vocals by unknown Tanya Herron who’s beautiful voice really makes this song memorable.
Scarface working with the Neptunes seems very unusual and the result is predictable, an awful mish-mash made even cheesier with Faith Evans singing the hook for ‘Someday.’ The track ‘Heaven’ shows ‘Face’s softer side, talking about love and religion, a bit surprising coming from someone who has so much violence in his lyrics but he somehow pulls it off. The Fix
is very front heavy with the more radio friendly tracks in the second half. The first half is remarkable but in an effort to broaden his fanbase, ‘Face softens his approach and might leave longtime fans scratching their heads.
The long list of producers detracts from the album’s cohesiveness, something that had always been evident in Scarface’s albums. Having Kelly Price, Faith Evans and the Neptunes is not something you would’ve expected from Scarface but sometimes you need to make some concessions to sell albums. The Fix
somewhat finds a balance between the more commercially orientated material and the crime tales we have come to expect. This is less of Scarface the Geto Boy and more of Brad Jordan the businessman.
In Cold Blood
In Between Us