Back On My Block: Celebrating 10 Years of Scarface's The Fix
Ten years ago today, Scarface broke through nationally for good with The Fix. His work with the Geto Boys had made him a cult favorite, making his story of being better than amazing to put Houston on the rap map.
The Diary; Mr. Scarface Is Back rank as Nos. 3 and 6 on Rocks Off's list of the Top 25 Houston Rap Albums of All-Time* but asking about The Fix is almost like asking what was Michael Jordan's best game. It wasn't given 5 mikes in The Source (back when that mattered) for career achievement but rather of how much of a sprawling masterpiece it is.
Face always came forth with the lyrics, that was never an issue. Introspective, sometimes woeful and working with a gargling voice, the man born Brad Jordan essentially used The Fix and Def Jam's yielding of creative freedom to create an album that picked up pieces of his previous works.
There was the brazen funk exhibited from Last of a Dying Breed's "It Ain't (Pt. 2)" by Erick Sermon and its sneering, spit at the crown essence given in production from Kanye West (a year after The Blueprint made him big, a year before he made himself bigger), Nottz (underrated) and more.
Ironically, up until that point, The Fix was the one Scarface album where Mike Dean wasn't it's chief producer, not even N.O. Joe makes an appearance in the liner notes.
As often as he had a penchant for being the devil's second hand with "I Seen A Man Die" and his usual brushes in between the metronome of paranoia and salvation, Face turned to his own mortality on The Fix. A highlight stashed within numerous highlights, "Someday" takes The Neptunes percussion and Faith Evans voice of spiritual reason for Face to become a harbor of wisdom, having been "touched by the spirit" so that we all could hear it.
It's a funky, bass-driven piece where its main protagonist had been knee-deep in Houston's often moody, piano- and organ-driven molasses and opted for something far more expanding at the time. Elastic, memorable and soulful production, if you will.