Scarface Says Kanye West & Jay Z Wanted Him On Jesus Walks (Video)
Scarface and Kanye West worked together in the early 2000s. First on Jay Z’s “This Can’t Be Life,” and then on a chunk of ‘Face’s own The Fix album, the then-Def Jam Records label-mates began a strong bond. In the 15 years since, Kanye West has closely worked with 20-plus-year Scarface producer Mike Dean on many of his platinum albums.
Celebrating the release of Deeply Rooted, Scarface spoke to Vlad TV about some unknown facts regarding the working history of Kanye West and Brad Jordan. Most notably, fans learn that it was Scarface who was among the intended guests on Grammy Award-winning hit “Jesus Walks.” Released in 2004, the College Dropout single would be a breakthrough vehicle for the Roc-A-Fella Records artist in a run that has skyrocketed in the 11 years since.
“You know the ‘Jesus Walks’ song? That was a song that I was supposed to be on,” explained a deadpan Scarface. “I don’t know what happened, I think I got tied up. And Jay Z always brings that shit to my attention. Every fucking time.” At the time, Jay Z was both one of Kanye’s creative mentors, as well as a top executive at both Roc-A-Fella (and later in 2004), Def Jam. Scarface added that footage from the “Through The Wire” video actually captures him en route to the “Jesus Walks” studio session. “Somethin’ else had fuckin’ came up,” sighs the MC, who was also developing a Def Jam South subsidiary for the historic label at the time. Asked if he regrets the opportunity when the song blew up, Scarface said, “I look at what success does to people, and I kinda stayed away from it. […] I just want to be normal.” Notably, “Jesus Walks” helped launch the career of Rhymefest, who co-wrote the song.
While Deeply Rooted boasts production from longtime affiliates Dean and N.O. Joe, Scarface reveals he is sitting on a wealth of West tracks made with him in mind.
“I worked with the Kanye West before Kanye was [a superstar],” said the Houston, Texas legend. “I got so many songs with Kanye West, it’s fuckin’ stupid.” ‘Face clarified that these were exclusively productions.
Last week, in an interview with VIBE, Scarface revealed mentioning to Jay Z in 2002 that he wanted a radio hit. Jay would record a reference track for the Geto Boys alum—a track that went unused. ‘Face would strike a hit with 2002’s “My Block,” a song he wrote, featuring no guests.
Given Scarface’s penchant for writing about faith, God, and spirituality, can you hear him on “Jesus Walks”?