Band of the Week: Scarface

Band of the Week: Scarface
Photo by Emanuel Wallace

Meet the Band: Scarface (vocals, production)

GETTING A 'GRIP:' Rapper Scarface (nee Brad Jordan and fka DJ Akshen) cut his teeth as a member of the seminal rap group, Geto Boys, back in 1989 on their album Grip It! On That Other Level. He quickly became the breakout star of the group and released his first solo album, Mr. Scarface is Back, in 1991. As a member of the Geto Boys, Scarface played an integral role in hit songs such as "The World Is a Ghetto," "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta" and perhaps the group's most popular song, "Mind Playing Tricks On Me." As a solo artist, Scarface has released 12 albums and collaborated with the likes of Devin the Dude, Ice Cube, Jay-Z, Master P, Nas, Beanie Sigel and 2Pac among a plethora of others. To date, he has three RIAA certified platinum albums, along with three certified gold LPs.

STILL RELEVANT AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: "I'm just a real musician," Scarface says in a previous interview for one of his many local appearances. He credits that for his ability to remain relevant for so long. "I don't do anything else. I'm authentic. People see that and people respect that about me." While Scarface may be a real musician, he's certainly not solely a musician. His time in the music industry has seen him pivot to being an executive with Def Jam South and also an author, as he collaborated with Benjamin Meadows-Ingram to write his memoir, Diary of a Madman, in 2015.

SCARFACE FOR CITY COUNCIL: Never one to hold his tongue on political issues, Scarface has strong feelings about the now-impeached President Trump. "You already know what that is," he said in reference to Trump's fearmongering "Anyone that has a prejudice toward something, hate toward someone or a fear, that's an ideal candidate to vote for. He ain't goin' no-goddamn-where. You see the hate, you see the prejudice and you see the fear." Most recently, Scarface became serious about making a run for city council in his home city of Houston. In a runoff election to represent Section D (bandmate Willie D also attempted to represent Section B before pulling out), Scarface lost to Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz just this past week.


WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR HIM: Scarface's most recent albums are 2015's Deeply Rooted and 2017's Deeply Rooted: The Lost Files. He's doing it all through his own imprint these days, Facemob Music — without a major label backing him. The bulk of his career was spent with Rap-A-Lot Records before releasing The Fix with Def Jam South. As of late, Scarface has performed with a live band at some of his shows. He even occasionally strums his Les Paul between verses; rumor has it he's an avid collector of the instruments.

WHERE YOU CAN SEE HIM: Scarface performs with MANN, P_frmdatribe and MYNAMEISBRAVO at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31, at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights.

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