Scarface Discusses His Kidney Transplant With The Son Who Saved Him
Roughly six weeks ago, one of Hip-Hop’s legends received a life-saving transplant. In September, Scarface aka Brad Jordan received a new kidney. After thousands of fans had offered an organ to the Geto Boys MC/producer, Jordan selected the crucial offering from his son, Chris. The gift of life happened after past group members DJ Ready Red and Bushwick Bill have passed away, among a litany of fallen Hip-Hop peers.
On a recent episode of the Geto Boys Reloaded podcast, Chris Jordan joins hosts Scarface and Willie D. It is revealed that Willie D was at the hospital for his longtime band-mate’s procedure. Brad offers a play-by-play recollection of what happened in September. Willie asks Scarface if he was prepared for the “very slim possibility” of death when he went into the operating room. Brad responds, “When you think about doing dialysis, Will, and how it makes you feel after, and just being connected to a machine forever, I was willing to take that chance, man. I know it’s selfish, but I would rather not do that dialysis sh*t. There’s been many a days in the year that I was on dialysis where I was like, ‘F*ck this; I’m done with this sh*t.’ ‘Cause I didn’t see an end to it.” The Houston, Texas veteran says he spent a year and a half on dialysis, “You never know how much a kidney is needed until it’s gone. That is a filter for your body. It filters all of that sh*t out of your body—the bad sh*t. And thank God for my son, bro, ’cause he came through in the clutch; ‘Don’t even worry about that.’ I had a couple of children that wanted to give me kidneys. I was like, ‘Sh*t. I appreciate y’all, but [sighs] I don’t know man.’ Chris was like, ‘You gettin’ this kidney.’ I was like, ‘I’m not f*ckin’ with that kidney.’ He was like, ‘You gonna get this kidney.'”
Scarface adds that he was touched with the thousands of fans who offered to donate a kidney since the artist publicly revealed he needed a donor in 2020. “It’s a beautiful thing to be able to express yourself through words and people fall in love with that part of your talent, your energy, your ability to deliver a story like that. It’s a blessing, bro. To have somebody that you don’t even know step up and say they’re willing to give you a kidney,” Scarface begins, adding that many fans added their names to the donor registry. “I think, if I’m not mistaken, there were like 50 people on that list. They just stopped; they shut the list down. It was that many people who were willing to give me the gift of life.” He then asserts, “My advice to anybody and to everybody that still has functioning kidneys is to make for God-damn-sure that you get you a nephrologist and you keep up with that. We’re looking out for our blood pressure and our heart and sh*t like that, but we’re not checking for our kidneys. And we should really be checking for that sh*t, ’cause now that I think about it, your heart can go, and they can put stents in it [or other things], but once them kidneys go, you’re on the machine.”
Willie asks his partner about what could have been prevented to get him to this point. Face admits that since age 25, he struggled with high blood pressure. “The blood pressure issue that carried all of those years, when the COVID came, it knocked that preexisting condition out. Like, if you have any problems [or] preexisting conditions, when the COVID comes, it’s gonna kill you. It’s coming.” He elaborates, “First, it filled my lungs up with fluid; couldn’t kill me. Then it filled the sack of my heart up with fluid; I had 850 cc’s of fluid in my heart; it collapsed one side of my heart. So they drained that sh*t out. My lungs, they ended up getting the fluid out. Then it just hit my kidneys and [nearly] killed me.” He adds that his body rejected the new kidney at first as a byproduct of the damage from a 2020 COVID-19 infection. Face describes not being able to urinate and being required to take additional drugs while in recovery. “The kidney was throwing up the wrong gang signs in my body; my body was like, ‘Who is this ni**a? We know y’all two back here’—’cause you know I still got two other kidneys [laughing] They ain’t take that sh*t out.” Face says, “I got three f*ckin’ whole kidneys.”
Scarface tells Willie D that after the success of the transplant, he indulged in a chocolate brownie, a vanilla ice cream, and a glass of milk—things that you cannot ingest while on dialysis. He reveals that he had been consuming edible cannabis throughout his treatment to cope with the cape.
Near the 25-minute-mark, Chris Jordan joins the Geto Boys Reloaded podcast. Scarface refers to his son as “Christ-opher,” honoring his sacrifice. Willie asks Chris about his commitment to organ donation beyond his father’s successful transplant. “Right now I’m forming an organization to bring awareness and education [about] organ donation. I want to say that there’s 120,000 people on the transplant list, and 10,000 of those people die every year waiting on a transplant. So if I can bring education and knowledge to organ donation, maybe there will be more people like me, willing to save a family member or even a stranger.” Chris launched the Wayne C. Wilson Quality Of Life Foundation, named after his great-grandfather on Brad’s side of the family. He adds that if his one remaining kidney were to go out in 90 days following the donation, he is eligible to receive a kidney to save his own life. Face interjects, “F*ck, Chris; you saved my life, bro.” Chris responds, “If you think about it, I saved two people. I saved my dad. Then, the person that was behind him on the [donation] list was able to jump up on the list because I took him off. So maybe that other person will get theirs sooner.”
Willie and Face joke that many sons would not feel so lovingly about their fathers. “I’m always hard on Chris, because Chris is a lot like me. So I’m really, really tough on him.” Chris jumps in that the comment is an understatement. Brad later admits there was one incident of physical discipline in their relationship. Face continues, “I’m really, really tough on him, because I know the potential. I know he listens. I know he can see it; I know he can hear it. All he gotta do is take all of that sh*t and put it towards something. It’s there.”
Willie D says, “Being able to have a front-row seat and watch what happened—y’all don’t even know how it made me feel; I was totally inspired watching you and Chris coming to the studio, and you powering through the interviews, even though you were sick. But you had made a commitment to do this podcast, and you didn’t want to let anybody down, including yourself.” He then asks, “How has the experience changed your relationship?”
Scarface responds, “I’ll say it’s the same.” He jokes that Chris still does his own thing without warning. Chris adds, “Prior to surgery, everything’s been the same. But going up into surgery, that moment, for me, brought us a lot closer.” Brad adds, “I was always close with [you], but anyway.” Willie jokes that Chris should request the kidney back. Chris reveals that prior to the transplant he was asked to eat a low-fat diet, but adds that he has not been a heavier partyer. “It’s about a lifestyle of moderation.” Brad adds that he’s not drinking alcohol anymore, following the transplant.
Brad has a moment of blunt honesty at the 57:00 mark. “I think Chris is a lot more forgiving than I am. Because I can’t say that I’ve been the best father. I’m not the greatest father in the world. But still, I try. I know that we missed a lot of time together because of different obstacles or whatever—like me being young and me being gone, working on my career. I think that when we started going on the road together and he started learning sh*t, it started to make to sense to him about why I was like how I was, and why I am how I am.” Scarface reminds the room that his music career launched while he was still a teenager. “We was put in the position to be grown-men back then. Being a grown man back then didn’t really teach a mothaf*cka how to be a dad. No. So I learned how to be a dad over the years.” Face, who also has a nine-year-old, says in his adult years, he learned of this responsibility. “I always make it a point that when [my kids] need some sound-ass advice, I make sure that I give it.” He closes the point, “So for my kid to make sure my life was extended [makes him] nothing short of a hero.”
Willie asks what Scarface would like to say to his son, in front of the world, to show his gratitude. After joking that no birthday or Christmas gifts were required, Brad says, “I always express gratitude to my son for what he’s done for me. I crack a lot of jokes, but it’s second-to-none, the relationship with my children. It’s a beautiful thing, man.” Willie then poses the question to Chris. To his father, he says, “Thank you for giving me understanding.” He then reminds the audience that the calling was a matter of “life or death.”
Elsewhere, in the closing 20 minutes of the podcast, Scarface reveals that he is planning a farewell show as a solo artist and another with Willie D as the surviving Geto Boys. Brad and Willie trade flowers after long, decorated careers together—despite some past public tensions. Face calls Willie’s Controversy album one of his biggest inspirations, and recites lyrics.
Scarface says that he hopes to explore making Blues or Rock music, after nearly 35 years in Hip-Hop. “I want to do something different now. You know how you can just burn a lane? I burned the [Rap] lane. We did—we did it, Willie, we f*ckin’ did it, bro! We did it. Everything that we set to accomplish out there recording on the pool table with the f*ckin’ 4-track or 8-track with the microphone up against the wall? We made it, bro.”
#BonusBeat: Ambrosia For Heads‘ What’s The Headline podcast episode that covered Scarface’s health: