Scarface Updates A Powerful Public Enemy Classic For The Chaos Of 2017 (Video)
Back in August, Scarface previewed some new music for Ambrosia For Heads and TBD. Backstage at his concert with upcoming EP collaborator DJ Quik, the Houston, Texas Hip-Hop legend played a new song from his phone that showed the Geto Boys O.G. reworking Public Enemy’s 1988 video single “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos.”
The hard-hitting lyrics begin “I got a letter from the government, the other day, I opened, read it / They tellin’ me to dead it / It said that that message I was bringing brought destruction / I put the pen to the pad and said ‘f*ck ’em’ / Here’s a land that never gave a damn / About a ni**a like from the jump / They’d rather see me slump / Face down, shot five or six times / With my kid and her mama in the squad car cryin’ / And I’m dyin’ / Stop lyin’ / It’s a Black and white thing / Redneck-ass judge would rather watch a ni**a hang / Than indict what’s white…” Now as part of December 15’s “Lost Files” addendum release to 2015’s Deeply Rooted, Scarface releases the song now known as “Black Still” in full, as a video. The title plays on Chuck D, Flavor Flav, and Terminator X’s It Takes A Nation… original—showing what has not changed.
The lyrics that Heads hear for the first time are just as potent. “Who me? I demand reparations / F*ck a cowboy, I’m a native robbed of my nation,” “Take an eye for an eye, take a tooth for tooth / Do unto others as others would do unto you / And now they sayin’ ‘Make America Great’ / What America hates, kept America straight / And America safe / Mother-f*ck that flag / My people are not free, we want to touch that bag.” The song stresses the importance of teaching proper history to Black children, condemning the current President for disrespecting Barack Obama, and why the American promise (including “40 acres and a mule”) was a lie. The images in the Dr. Teeth-directed official vid’ focused on a young Black mind are a reinforcement.
As with P.E.’s version, the song’s beat is built around Isaac Hayes’ 1969 Hot Buttered Soul groove, “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic.” In July, while in the studio with longtime producer N.O. Joe, ‘Face warned all that rappers were “in trouble.” This is likely what he meant.
Deeply Rooted: The Lost Files features six new songs and four alternate versions to the 2015 helping. It comes via Scarface’s Facemob/BMG Records label.
With the “Still Black” music video, the iconic MC/producer also released “Same Ol’ Same”:
Scarface has confirmed at least one upcoming project with DJ Quik. Both decorated vets are playing instruments in addition to rapping.