Review Summary: Closing the diary a made man, king of the southern game.
At its fundamental level, Emeritus
is a continuation of the consistency for which Scarface is known – there is absolutely no retirement-party-magnum-opus to be had here. Trading fond recollection and reverie for a soapbox-stance on a veritable mélange of significant hiphop topics proves effective. That is, ‘Face isn’t bogged down by the conventional pressure to prove one’s worth; twenty years at the mic have already done that, with multiple gold and platinum albums, business and label success, and (most importantly) influence on a budding southern rap culture.
Appealing to the entire country is no easy task, yet Scarface succeeds brilliantly with his team’s well-crafted compositions – ranging from the established southern roots of “Can’t Get Right”, to the west coast funk of “High Note”, to the boom-bap of “It’s Not A Game”, Emeritus
runs the hiphop gamut and does so effectively. It’s important to especially note the production skills of longtime ‘Face faithful N.O. Joe; without his distinct style on cuts like “High Powered”, there’s no way to tell where Scarface would be today. Nottz puts on an impressive performance, as does Jake One – his participation here and the recent White Van Music
will hopefully garner him some of the mainstream respect he deserves.
Upon first listen, the root of “favorite rapper’s favorite rapper” claims is obvious; the binding agent here is definitely Scarface’s gift for enhancing any atmosphere with his sharp flow and wit. “High Powered” lends the thought that Lil Troy might just disappear someday, amidst the reggae influence of Papa Rue. ‘Face would have you believe the new breed of mainstream youth have no respect for the trade; of course, Weezy is the exception here on “Forgot About Me”, elucidating the return of the great alongside Bun-B. Contrived political rap-techniques are immortalized these days, as many suggest the government is playing some type of complex mind tricks on the public. Instead, Scarface expounds simple, yet genuine perspectives on pharmaceutical corruption, materialism, and street life. The content of Emeritus
is easily relatable for most and specifically designed to be accessible to all.
Scarface leaves the game with the same success and acclaim he’s always had; there aren’t many artists in the world today that can vaunt more than eleven (official and unofficial) critically revered releases. Paling Paper Trails
and Theater of the Mind
in comparison, Emeritus
is easily the southern hiphop album of the year. In an age of pseudo-retirements, ‘Face’s final foray stands out from the rest; a man impassioned by his work and dedicated for twenty years is leaving the solo game, and he will be missed.