Artist Details

Scarface

Scarface quickly became the South's most admired rapper and remained so throughout the '90s after breaking away from the Geto Boys to launch his solo career in 1991. Even if he never scored any national hits or stormed up the charts with any of his numerous albums throughout the '90s, no one could question his clout throughout the South. He essentially defined what it meant to be a Southern thug rapper years before anyone even coined the term Dirty South. This became glaringly evident in the late '90s when a massive wave of young MCs arose from Houston, New Orleans, and Memphis emulating his style of hard-boiled, ghetto-bred, straight-up hardcore rapping. Besides serving as the father of Southern thug rap, it seemed as if every hardcore rapper wanted to align himself with Scarface during the '90s -- everyone from Ice Cube and Dr. Dre to 2Pac and Master P collaborated with the former Geto Boy -- all in an attempt to foster credibility among the loyal Southern rap audience. Yet despite his unquestionable influence, Scarface never crossed over to mainstream success. His albums were often plagued with filler, his lyrics were simply too harsh for radio, and his devotion to producer Mike Dean led to a stagnant, albeit trademark, sound. Still, likely because Scarface never crossed over and remained aligned to the streets, his influence never waned, making him one of the few veterans able to sustain in the here-today, gone-tomorrow rap game. In the early 2000s, Def Jam Records rewarded his staying power with a lucrative contract, a wealth of industry connections, and a powerful marketing push. Scarface consequently enjoyed the most successful album of his career, The Fix (2002), and a revival of interest in his back catalog, which his former label, Rap-a-Lot, repackaged that same year on Greatest Hits.