Review Summary: "Nobody knows my name, nobody knows my face
On the farilla my nigga just call me Scarface"2 of 3 thought this review was well written
Scarface, before this album, was known as one of the Geto Boys, a group that gained notoriety for their willingness to take extremes to their lyrical content, and as such they were not a ones to shy away from sex and violence. Their explicit tales of sex and violence put them and the entire southern United States on the map of hip-hop. Their explicit material is also a major factor in why this reason is called the 'dirty south' in the first place.
With this album, Scarface shys away (but only a LITTLE bit) from the Geto Boys' explicit style to present himself as a hard-to-get mafioso, and the rest you can pretty much foretell. Guns, violence, sex, running from the police, weed, crack, yatta-yatta. But it's not the subject matter that's being critiqued here, it's how that subject matter is presented. As this album starts, following a 7 second skit, we get 'Mr. Scarface is Back': the perfect introduction song to Scarface. The song swarms with activity both beat-wise and lyric-wise, the beat is in itself a hustle and bustle with all sorts of samples put together to match Scarface's own violent personality. 'A Minute To Pray A Second To Die' is where Scarface stretches his storytelling muscles and talks about a man who seeks vengeance after being the victim of a drive-by shooting. 'I'm Dead' is a continuation of that story
Let me begin this by saying that Scarface's rapping is great, he has an energetic delivery and has a good amount of witty punchlines to disperse throughout this 45 minute, 9 track album. Scarface has a good amount of personality, due to which the album manages to stay interesting throughout the run time. The production is funky, lively, and has that old-school flavor that very well suits the the guy's delivery.
The main problem with the album is it's consistency, the album can switch from memorable to mediocre pretty abruptly. In fact, this can be noticed noticed as the title track: Mr. Scarface Is Back is followed by The Pimp, by far this album's worst song. This is basically supposed to be a sex-rap. However, it completely fails as one, as Scarface carries his tendencies of being explicit here making it come across as juvenile, in turning losing the appeal of anyone of either gender. One of the things that is consistent to a fault, however, are the beats, which really lack diversity of any kind, and about halfway through start blending in with one another. Consequently, without Scarface's choruses, the listener would be hard pressed to differentiate one track from another.
Overall, this is a pretty solid debut from the man who would later be known as 'your favorite rapper's favorite rapper', and despite numerous issues, Scarface manages to carry the album with his presence. While not truly anything fantastic, it's a pretty good stepping stone to the long, influential career that is Scarface's. If you are interested in this album, however, you should try the Diary first, as it contains Scarface at his most eloquent, and the production crew behind him has much more experience under their belts, allowing for a much better experience in general.