Scarface Emeritus

Scarface Emeritus
Emeritus, like the 20 years of solo and group albums sprung from the tear- and blood-stained, unlocked diaries of Scarface, is a beautiful/ugly paradox. One of rap's realest voices — all bass and wisdom — insists how he's "the truth." Yet he's so untrusting — of the hoods on the corner, of Republicans, of the mark-ass police, of his own kinfolk, of the path rap music has taken, even of the prospects for America's new hope. "The reason I ain't votin' for Barack/Is 'cause I love him/They gonna want him hanged after that," Scarface hurls on the bleak "Can't Get Right." The veteran, threatening retirement with this latest installment in a sterling catalogue, pumps so much breath into descriptions welcoming death. "I've been ready with my arms crossed, dyin' to go," he spits once but it's a sentiment echoed throughout the LP and his career. Devotees to one of the top ten rappers ever (yeah, I said it) are familiar with Facemob's world and ain't a damn thing changed. It's a realm ruled by the G code and weighed down by heavy souls, frozen hearts, predictably thick funk, family crises and dirty rotten snitches. Claustrophobic and stressed out ("Back up, I need my space") our tragic hero wants out as much as he wants respect. At 38, Brad Jordan would love to die but he's doomed to live. (Rap-A-Lot)