When Houston rapper Scarface released his first record with the Geto Boys in 1989, all eyes were trained on New York and Los Angeles, looking for the next big hip-hop thing. Rap music in the South wasn’t even a blip on anyone’s radar.
It was a time when hip-hop was barely seen on TV and virtually nonexistent on the radio. Newspapers rarely covered it unless there were deaths involved.
But when the Geto Boys hit the rap world like three hollowpoint bullets, they laid the music industry on its back, giving the media plenty to talk and write about, including a rapping dwarf, lyrics more violent than a snuff flick, a couple of rumored suicide attempts and a record so offensive it was almost banished from existence by David Geffen.
Since then the South has carved a niche for itself in the world of hip-hop and Scarface remains at the head of the pack. The undisputed “King of Southern Rap,” Scarface has released eight solo CDs, including a greatest hits package, and six with the Geto Boys. He’s seen gold and platinum records come and go, and his sinister rhymes and straightforward, intensely focused flow has earned him a place at the top of the rap heap alongside more recognized names like KRS ONE and 2Pac.
Recent articles have alluded to the possibility that Scarface is getting tired of the rap game and, like Jay-Z and Master P before him, may be planning an early retirement. Catch him while you can in this, his first appearance in Montana. Partners in rhyme Willie D and Bushwick Bill won’t be making the trek this time around, but give this man something to write home about, and next time you might get the complete package. The latest release from the Geto Boys, War & Peace, will be released on Rap-A-Lot/Warner/Asylum Records in early January. Batten down the hatches.
Scarface plays with E-40 on Friday, Nov. 5, at UM’s Adams Center. Doors open at 6 PM, and the show starts at 7 PM. Tickets available at Griztix outlets and griztix.com.