Scarface (rapper)

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Scarface (rapper) (cropped).jpg
Scarface in 2013
Background information
Birth nameBrad Terrence Jordan [1]
Also known asMr. Scarface, Face, DJ Akshen, Facemob, Creepy [2]
Born (1970-11-09) November 9, 1970 (age 52)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
  • Rapper
  • record producer
Years active1988–present

Brad Terrence Jordan (born November 9, 1970), better known by his stage name Scarface, is an American rapper and record producer best known as a member of the Geto Boys, a hip-hop group from Houston, Texas. [2] He grew up in Houston and is originally from the city's South Acres (Crestmont Park) neighborhood. [3] In 2012, The Source ranked him #16 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time, [4] while ranked him #6 on its list of the 50 Greatest MCs of Our Time (1987–2007). [5]


Early life and education

Scarface attended Woodson Middle School in Houston, Texas. [6] He dropped out of high school and worked as a drug dealer. [7] As a teenager, he attempted suicide, and subsequently spent time in a hospital psychiatric ward. [7]

He was brought up as a Christian, and converted to Islam in 2006. [8]


Jordan began his career as DJ Akshen (pronounced "Action"), recording and deejaying for Lil' Troy's Short Stop, which was a local record label in Houston, before adopting the name "Scarface" as a reference to the 1983 film by that name. [9] After releasing the 12" single "Scarface/Another Head Put To Rest" (1989), which was written by Chris "Mr. 3-2" Barriere and produced by Def Jam Blaster [10] and Bruce "Grim" Rhodes, [11] Scarface signed with Rap-A-Lot Records and joined the Geto Boys, replacing a member who left. The first Geto Boys album he appeared on was the group's second album, Grip It! On That Other Level (1989), a highly successful album that garnered the group a large fanbase. Radio and MTV refused to play any songs from the album because of their violent lyrics; however, the album made the Geto Boys into one of the most successful Southern hip hop groups of their era.

In 1992, Scarface (along with fellow Geto Boys member Bushwick Bill) appeared on the Kool G Rap & DJ Polo album Live and Let Die . This collaboration was viewed as notable due to the influential roles that Scarface and Kool G Rap have played in Southern hip hop and East Coast hip hop respectively. During this period of his career, Scarface also worked with the West Coast gangsta rap stars Ice Cube and MC Eiht, as well as with his friend Devin the Dude, a fellow Rap-A-Lot signee.

Scarface's 1991 solo album Mr. Scarface Is Back was a success, and his popularity soon overshadowed that of the other Geto Boys. Scarface remained in the group, but he released a series of solo albums that kept him in the public eye, and they sold well. Scarface is the only Geto Boys member who has remained with the group ever since the lineup was revamped in 1989. Scarface's popularity as a solo artist peaked with the albums The Diary and The Last of a Dying Breed . In particular, The Last of the Dying Breed achieved both critical and commercial success, and led Scarface to be named "Lyricist of the Year" at the 2001 Source Awards. [2] In 2002, Scarface released The Fix , the follow-up to The Last of a Dying Breed. The Fix was another highly successful album, which featured a wide range of high-profile guests such as Nas, Jay-Z, Faith Evans, Kelly Price, WC, and Beanie Sigel.

It was around this time that Scarface also returned to the studio with the Geto Boys for what turned out to be their final album as a trio, The Foundation (2005). Further, he was featured on Duets: The Final Chapter , a posthumous album by the Notorious B.I.G. Scarface also made guest appearances on a variety of other tracks throughout the 2000s, including on albums by Beanie Sigel, Freeway, and Tech N9ne.

In addition to his career as a rapper, Scarface was the coordinator and president of Def Jam South from 2000 to 2005, where he fostered the career of the rapper Ludacris. [2] He also produced three tracks for the UGK album Underground Kingz .

Despite his limited commercial appeal, Scarface has consistently attained wide respect from within the industry, and he has been described as "your favorite rapper's favorite rapper". [12] In 2005, comedian Chris Rock praised Scarface as one of the best three rappers of all time on his list of the Top-25 Hip-Hop Albums ever. [13]

On June 30, 2010, Scarface announced that he was working on a new album entitled The Habit, which would include features from John Legend and Drake, and that it was scheduled for release that fall. [14] For one production on the album, Scarface co-hosted a worldwide producer showcase with iStandard from which thousands of producers were considered and after a selection of the top 8, Alex Kresovich was named winner. [15] The album would feature a production from Eminem. [16] In February 2011, news came that he had been held in jail without bail since September 2010 for failure to pay child support in four different cases. [17] As of August 2011, Scarface was released from jail.

Media appearances

Scarface also appeared in the Mike Judge film Idiocracy as a pimp named Upgrayedd. [18] Judge also used the Scarface track "No Tears" and Geto Boys tracks "Still" and "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta" in his 1999 film Office Space . [19]

He has appeared in the two video games: Def Jam Vendetta and its sequel Def Jam: Fight For NY .

At the 2015 BET Hip Hop Awards, he received the I Am Hip Hop award. [20]

Public service

On June 10, 2019, Jordan launched his campaign to be elected as the Councilperson for District D of the Houston City Council when the current seat holder, Dwight Boykins, decided to run for mayor. [21] [22] He announced his candidacy a day after the death of his friend and bandmate Bushwick Bill. Jordan's campaign is defined by the vision of "putting the neighbor back in the hood," which is the motto of Positive Purpose Movement, [23] an organization that he founded. [24] The organization works with area schools to promote education and empowerment among children from underrepresented communities. [25]

Jordan was quoted in The Washington Post stating that "Scarface is dead." Positioning himself as a viable candidate for City Council, he emphasized his desire to build a legacy of public service when he added, "I'm not going to be a 75-year-old rapper... I'm going to be finishing my last term in office as president when I'm 75". [22] Jordan was defeated by former educator Carolyn Evans-Shabazz in a run-off election on December 15, 2019. [26]

Personal life

Scarface claims to be a cousin of singer Johnny Nash. [27] He also owns and collects Gibson Les Paul electric guitars.

In March 2020, Scarface revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19. [28]


Scarface released a memoir on April 21, 2015, which details various moments from his childhood, getting his first record deal from Rap-A-Lot, and his tenure at Def Jam South. [29] [30] [31]


Studio albums

Collaboration albums

Compilation albums

Related Research Articles

Geto Boys was an American hip-hop group originally formed in Houston, Texas. The Geto Boys enjoyed success in the 1990s with the group's classic lineup consisting of Bushwick Bill, Scarface and Willie D, earning several certified albums and hit singles, including "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" which reached No. 1 on the Hot Rap Songs and #23 on the Billboard Hot 100. The group was formed in 1986, and was active until the 2019 death of Bushwick Bill.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bushwick Bill</span> Jamaican-American rapper (1966–2019)

Richard William Stephen Shaw, better known by his stage name Bushwick Bill, was a Jamaican rapper. He was a member of the Texas hip hop group Geto Boys, a group he originally joined as a breakdancer in 1986 as Little Billy. He went on to become one third of one incarnation of the group, alongside Willie D and Scarface.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Devin the Dude</span> American rapper from Texas

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mind Playing Tricks on Me</span> 1991 single

"Mind Playing Tricks on Me" is a song by Geto Boys, featured on their 1991 album We Can't Be Stopped . The lyrics describe the mental anguish and exhaustion of life as a gangster, including dealing with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, paranoia, suicidal ideation, and loneliness. It also samples "Hung Up on My Baby" by Isaac Hayes, from his 1974 film Tough Guys. At the song's peak, it reached 23 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the highest-charting single by the Geto Boys.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rap-A-Lot Records</span> Southern hip-hop record label

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<i>We Cant Be Stopped</i> 1991 studio album by Geto Boys

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<i>The Diary</i> (Scarface album) 1994 studio album by Scarface

The Diary is the third studio album by American rapper Scarface. The album was released on October 18, 1994, by Rap-A-Lot and Noo Trybe. This album is one of the few to receive a perfect rating from both The Source Magazine and XXL. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and was certified Platinum by the RIAA on December 5, 1994.

<i>My Homies</i> 1998 studio album by Scarface

My Homies is the fifth studio album by the American rapper Scarface. The album was released March 3, 1998, by Rap-A-Lot Records and Virgin Records. The album features production by Mike Dean, Mr. Lee, N.O. Joe, Scarface and Tone Capone. It peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and at number 4 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Platinum by the RIAA on April 6, 1998. The album features guest performances by 2Pac, Master P, Ice Cube, Devin the Dude, B-Legit, UGK, Too Short, Do or Die and Willie D. Scarface appears solo on two of thirty songs, performs with others on thirteen and does not contribute vocals on fifteen. A sequel to the album, My Homies Part 2, was released on March 7, 2006.

<i>The Last of a Dying Breed</i> 2000 studio album by Scarface

The Last of a Dying Breed is the sixth studio album by American rapper Scarface. The album was released on October 3, 2000, by Rap-A-Lot Records and Virgin Records. The album was less successful commercially than his last few efforts, but more successful critically. It debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 133,972 copies in its first week being certified Gold by the RIAA.

<i>Grip It! On That Other Level</i> 1989 studio album by Ghetto Boys

Grip It! On That Other Level is the second studio album by the Houston, Texas based hip-hop group, the Ghetto Boys, released on March 12, 1989, on Rap-A-Lot Records. Following the disappointing results of the group's first album, Rap-A-Lot CEO James Prince replaced two of the group members with Scarface and Willie D, who joined original members Bushwick Bill and DJ Ready Red. Recording for the album began in 1988, and finished in early 1989. The majority of the album's tracks were produced by DJ Ready Red, and much of the album's lyrical content deals with violent and misogynistic topics, which would later be credited for pioneering the horrorcore hip hop subgenre.

<i>Da Good da Bad & da Ugly</i> 1998 studio album by Geto Boys

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