Scarface & Ice-T Trade The Very Bars That Define Their Success Stories (Audio)
In the last 24 hours, Scarface released his John Legend-assisted “God.” Right on time, Ice-T’s Final Level Podcast returns after a multi-month hiatus, and Brad Jordan in the guest chair. The segmented podcast features the Original Gangsta, Mick Benzo, and guests talking about politics, video games, television, movies, and music. It’s structured, but loose discussion. Joined by a 25-plus-year friend, Ice and ‘Face shoot the bull, reminiscing about the first mansion “with store doors” that the Houston, Texan have ever witnessed. Meanwhile, Ice places the Geto Boys as equals to his friends N.W.A.
In their discussion, the two Rap masters discuss Donald Trump’s bid for presidency and controversial immigration remarks. Both of these ’80s Hip-Hop vets discuss police brutality, and why White America may be getting the wrong idea about what Black America really wants. They weigh in on the straight gangterism of video-game Payday, why Scarface consumes the same TV shows as prisoners, and why “Dr. Dre is absolutely the best producer of all times,” so says a Geto Boy.
For music fans, the 45:00 minute-mark is where things really lock in. Along the way, Scarface discusses how Kurtis Blow and Whodini inspired him to rap. ‘Face recites Blow’s “Way Out West” and Boogie Down Productions’ “9mm Goes Bang” word-perfect, showing his fan-dom. However, the lyric discussion gets really interesting. Scarface reveals how “Scarface” (the song) explains his whole personal story. Released formally in 1989, the solo song (which appeared on Geto Boys’ Grip It! On That Other Level) was an underground record heard by J. Prince, and caused the Rap-A-Lot Records co-founder to seek out the MC known as Akshen for his group’s revamped lineup. Ice-T also points to “O.G. Original Gangster” as his own autobiographical verse. Although it would appear on the West Coast-based MC’s fourth album, the 1991 song tells the story of Ice adapting his style to his own street conversations, and why that authentic formula shaped his entire career.
On the subject of Geto Boys, Scarface also adds context to the famed line-up change between 1988 and 1989. “J. Prince is the Geto Boys,” says ‘Face of his former manager and backer. Of the lineup featuring Prince Johnny C and DJ Ready Red, Scarface says, “They weren’t ghetto boys; They was just a group.” The MC adds that Bushwick Bill was only a dancer in that incarnation, and that Sire Jukebox was intended to remain with the 1989—beyond lineup, had he not been convicted of murder. He explains how he and Willie D would unify the Houston scene, and join Bill to make history.
Throughout, these MCs discuss lyrics, why artists should not rap about money, and some insights towards September 4’s Deep Rooted. Scarface, who vowed to retire from Rap more than once, says “I ain’t goin’ nowhere.” Encouraging news, especially as Ice-T (whose acapella bars sound especially potent) says the two need to get in business together.
Original gangsters, and Gangsta Rap lovers have reason to celebrate.