Rapper Scarface was born Bradley Jordan on November 9, 1970. He is originally from the South Acres neighborhood of Houston, Texas. He was an early member of the Southern rap group The Geto Boys and still maintains ties with them, though he has been a solo artist since 1991. Even if he has never scored any national hits or stormed up the Billboard charts with any of his numerous albums throughout the ’90s, no one could question his clout throughout the South. He has managed to define 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.
Scarface (at the time recording under the alias of Akshen) began his rap career first as a solo artist in his native Houston during the mid-’80s for James Smith’s then fledging Rap-a-Lot label. Smith was trying to launch a group he tagged the Geto Boys, and he eventually asked Akshen to join the group in the late ’80s. Smith was trying to launch a group he tagged the Geto Boys, and he eventually asked Akshen to join the group in the late ’80s. The Geto Boys’ debut album — Grip It! On That Other Level (1990), later repackaged and re-released that same year simply as The Geto Boys — shocked many with its vivid depictions of violence and its overall extreme nature. This album featured the song “Scarface,” which introduced Akshen’s alter ego, a title he would keep from that point onward. He changed his name to Scarface, after the legendary film Scarface, saying he felt that the main character of the movie was like himself in many ways. He even changed his flow from a rapid-fire Kool G Rap-like delivery, to a more normal type flow, but this time with a darker tone. The huge controversy surrounding the group’s debut put the Geto Boys on the map and set the stage for the impressive We Can’t Be Stopped (1991). In the wake of the group’s national success came solo albums, one of which being Scarface’s debut album.
He released his debut solo album, “Mr. Scarface Is Back” on October 3, 1991. The album was a success, eventually reaching ‘Gold’ status and hitting number #13 on the USA R&B/Hip-Hop chart. Scarface’s popularity soon overshadowed the other Geto Boys.
By the time Scarface returned with his follow-up album, The World Is Yours (1993), fellow Geto Boys member Willie D consequently departed, and the the Geto Boys never again rivaled We Can’t Be Stopped, releasing half-hearted, albeit popular, efforts with a new lineup, before later reuniting in the late ’90s. Scarfaces album though was a big success, topping the charts at #1 on the USA ‘R&B/Hip-Hop’ chart and #7 on the ‘Billboard 200’ chart, helping him to again reach Gold status for the album.
Scarface continued to funnel his efforts into additional solo efforts: The Diary came on October 18, 1994, reaching the heights of #2 on both the USA ‘R&B/Hip-Hop’ chart and the ‘Billboard 200′ chart. The album has since been certified platinum. Scarface then dropped Untouchable on March 11, 1997 which again improved on his last chart postions with #1 spots on both the Billboard 200 and the R&B/Hip-Hop chart, aswell as eventually been certified as Platinum.
Fresh off his chart-topping platinum LP Untouchable, Scarface returned to the table with yet another ghetto classic with the double disk set: My Homies. The album was a star-studded LP, bloated with guests, that pairs the godfather of hard-core reality rap with some of the hottest, most talented lyricists in the rap game. “I got everybody that I wanted to work with on this album, except Jimi Hendrix,” muses Scarface. “Everybody that’s hot on the streets right now, I got ’em on this album- Tupac, Master P, Tela, Too Short, and Yukmouth from the Luniz. Plus I’ve got some rappers from my label, Interface Records, on it too.”
Although the LP does contain a bevy of guest appearances and a couple tracks that feature Interface recording artists – such as the hilarious track “Boo Booin” by Devin of the FaceMob and the incomparable Odd Squad – Scarface stresses that this is not a compilation album, but rather an album of raw uncut duets and posse cuts aimed to please die-hard Scarface fans who have been supporting him and the Rap-A-Lot family from day one. It is definately an album designed strictly for the underground – the weak and faint of hearted need not apply for this LP. The lead single, “Homies and Thugs,” teams up with longtime friend and rapper Master P and the late great Tupac Shakur, kicking a fierce anthem celebrating the true brothers and sisters who struggle to survive everyday in the Ghetto. Produced by Face and Mike Dean, both the original and remixed versions of “Homies and Thugs” were destined to be hits. Again Scarface topped the R&B/Hip-Hop chart and was certified platinum for his efforts!
Scarface hadn’t peaked yet though, this wasn’t until October 3, 2000 saw the release of his next solo effort, The Last of a Dying Breed, which received overwhelmingly positive reviews and sales, and earned him Lyricist of the Year at the Source Awards. The album has also been certified Gold. As a result of the success of his solo efforts, Scarface was offered a promising deal with Def Jam Records. The powerhouse East Coast label wanted Scarface to helm its Def Jam South subsidiary division, and the rapper obliged, first signing rapper Ludacris, who became an overnight superstar. On August 6, 2002 Scarface released his own solo album, The Fix, the critically acclaimed follow up to The Last of a Dying Breed which again saw Scarface top the R&B/Hip-Hop chart and the album certified Gold. The album was led by a Kanye West-produced collaboration with Jay-Z, “Guess Who’s Back,” it spawned a popular single, “My Block,” and attracted widespread embrace. Rap-a-Lot furthered Scarface’s newfound coast-to-coast popularity with the rapper’s first best-of collection, Greatest Hits released in 2002.
In 2005, he reunited with Willie D and Bushwick Bill and put together The Foundation, another Geto Boys album. A year later he introduced his new crew, the Product, with the album One Hunid dropping on February 21, 2006, and he then released a second volume of My Homies a few eeks later on March 7, 2006.
He has since done collaborations with such artists as Jay-Z, Master P, Jadakiss, Faith Evans, Chamillionaire, 2Pac, Nas, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Lloyd Banks, Beanie Sigel, Young Jeezy, Too Short, Bun B, Raekwon and Gang Starr. He also featured on “The Biggie Duets” alongside Big Gee and Akon. He guest-appeared on Ray Cash’s debut single “Bumpin’ my Music”.
Rap A Lot Records have also since released an album from Scarface and Tupac entitled 2Face which is due out on August 8th 2006, but was halted for a Tuesday September 26, 2006 Release. The album is co-produced by Suge Knight, but Scarface has been rumored as stating he wants nothing to do with the album.
In a recent interview, Scarface says he’ll never record solo material again. He has stated that his last official album according to him was The Fix which was released in 2001. Scarface is now planning on concentrating on the production side of rap music, and has been tapped to produce on the upcoming UGK album titled “Return of the Trill”. More Recently Scarface converted to Islam.