“I was listening to a song on DJ Khaled’s album, I think it was called ‘[Never] Surrender.’ It was Scarface, Jadakiss, and Meek Mill. I just became a Scarface fan… at first I didn’t even know who he was, like a year ago, until one of my big homies was telling me, like, Scarface this, Scarface that. And then he put me on to some of the songs… so I’m a new Scarface fan.”
The above quote came from the 18-year-old and current Chicago Rap sensation Lil Bibby. The significance of his words? In a city over one thousand miles away from Houston and two and one-half decades removed from the song shown above, Scarface is still garnering new fans through the genius of his music. Geto Boys’ “Scarface” was a solo effort by the man himself off of Grip It! On That Other Level, an album that was released twenty-five years ago to this day (no need to get out your calculators; the year was 1989). This was a time when the Geto Boys were still spelling it “Ghetto” and Mr. Scarface was brand-new to the group; earlier members had included the likes of Raheem and Sir Rap-A-Lot. The album was the group’s second and their first major hit, highly influential in the Gangsta Rap and Horrorcore genres of Rap music that would become more popular as time went on. James Prince of Houston’s Rap-A-Lot Records believed in the Geto Boys’ potential (at least after his reorganization of the roster), and it paid off well. Famed producer and couch-layer Rick Rubin even went so far as to give the album a nearly-full remix a year after its debut.
It’s all-at-once amazing and inspiring to think that artists who were doing it before Bibby was even born can still be so relevant today. Here’s to twenty-five.