Scarface Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

DJ Khaled f/ Nas, Scarface & DJ Premier "Hip-Hop" (2012)

Producer: J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League
Album: Kiss The Ring
Label: Universal Republic Records

Scarface: “That come line is second to none. “The come line was so nasty that Nas used it. ‘And if I cried two tears for her.’ That is the come line on that record. Those come lines are so nasty that Nas used it for his come line.

“Khaled called me up. We didn’t know what that song was going to be. Nobody knew what it was. Khaled sent me a beat and no concept. He told me to do with that record what I felt and I sent it back immediately. I said, ‘I didn’t know if you’re going to like this shit but here goes nothing.’ He called me back and was like, ‘Oh my God, Scarface. This is it. This is so big!’ He called me like every 10 or 15 minutes and was like, ‘Oh my God, ‘Face.’

“Then he called me two days later and said Nas is going to be in New York and told me to go talk to him. He called me about 5:30AM that morning and said Nas listened to that record 10,000 times over and over. Then he said, ‘You should’ve seen it. Nas was listening to your part and was playing it over and over.’ I said ‘Wow.’ He said he was going to do the record and we’ll see.

 

When I say f**k hip-hop, I mean it. The music ain’t even the music no more. The business side f**ked up and the music side f**ked up. How can you go to the studio and spend that money to put out a mixtape and give it away for free? That makes no sense to me.

 

“I got a phone call from one of my good friends, Erick Sermon. He expressed to me how valuable that record was to hip-hop. He told me, ‘This game needs a balance and you are that balance.’ He told me hip-hop needed my raw emotion. Hip-hop needs emotional records to make it even. I was like, ‘Damn.’

“I was like, ‘You’re my partner, but you’re also Erick Sermon. You’re one of the reasons why I started fucking with music. He’s one of the reasons why I started rapping and he’s calling me talking about my record. As an artist, to be a part of something so big for hip-hop, I’m humbled at the same time because I was like, ‘Damn.’

“I missed out on a lot of money throughout my career. My whole old catalogue, I don’t get no money off that, N-The Water Publishing gets all of that. We don’t get none. I don’t think we get accounted for that shit. That ain’t no bullshit. When I say fuck hip-hop, I mean it. The music ain’t even the music no more. The business side fucked up and the music side fucked up. How can you go to the studio and spend that money to put out a fucking mixtape and give it away for free? That makes no fucking sense to me.

“I’m from a very small section of this city, a very small neighborhood. For you to know me now, that’s a great, special feeling. There are people from my neighborhood that know nothing about it. I’ve been making records—relevant records—for the past 24 years. I’m grateful."

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