Scarface Feels Hip-Hop Today Has No Soul


Scarface is a Houston hip-hop legend, and when the man speaks, people listen. The twenty-plus-year rap veteran was a pioneer for Southern artists of the next generation when he started his career with the Geto Boys back in the late 1980s. The Houston rapper/super producer went solo in 1991, and 11 albums later, he’s left a deep imprint in the fabric of hip-hop. So when he asked XXL during a recent phone call who stole the soul in hip-hop today, it was a question rooted in a life-long study of the culture.

“I feel like our music was dumbed down,” Scarface said on the phone on Wednesday (Jan. 15). “I feel like our generation is being dumbed down. And it starts with how we educate ourselves. At first, we knew what was going on in Compton by the music that we heard. We knew what was going on in Chicago by the music that we made. We knew what was going on in Houston by the music that was going on in Houston. Now, nobody don’t give a fuck. Everything sounds alike; they say the same thing.”

When comparing music now to 25 years ago, Scarface points out it just doesn’t match up. “I think that the music that I listened to turned me into the artist that I am,” he says. “I grew up listening to great music that molded my character and my artistry, that helped me. You got to look at it. Look at the music that came out 25 years ago. Now match it up to the music that came out today. There’s no comparison to it. I go back to the same question that I always ask. Who stole the soul?”

The Houston O.G. knows a thing or two about soul, having used a number of classic samples in his own production and rapping work throughout the years. But, he notes, in contrast to other genres, hip-hop is also losing its wit and cleverness, sacrificing lyricism and dumbing down the music.

“The rap shit [is] sounding stupider and stupider, and country music is sounding more brilliant, rock music is sounding more brilliant and alternative music is sounding way more brilliant,” he says. “Shit sound good as fuck. Everybody [in hip-hop] wants to turn up now; even in R&B. Who stole the soul? The soul is gone. Twenty-five years ago it was called soul, 30 years ago it was called soul. Then they turned it into rhythm and blues, R&B. What is it now? Is R&B gone too?” —Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)

Previously: Train Of Thought With Scarface, Kanye West, Pusha T

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  • ImSoHtown

    Real talk.

  • suigetsuthirsty

    i agree 100 % this rap shit is trash.

  • BrianRaider

    One Of The All Time Greats!!! True OG In The Game! A Legend! An Elite MC. Facemob Got So Much Material That His Early Work I Was Still Playing With Toys! But As I Grew Up He Still Keep Lacing Us Time & Time Again. I Love The Fix. The Fix Received A L Rating Undeservingly!!! Face Always Does His Thang!!! I Think Kanye & Face Should Do A Whole LP!!! Kanye & Scarface Is Like Up There Wit Snoop & Dre. See- In Cold Blood, Guess Who’s Back, Heaven(2nd Part), & Face Steals The Show On The Underground Gem=Smitty-Ghetto Feat. Ye & John Legend. I Fucks Wit Scarface Forever!!! #SALUTE

    • Yup

      Stop With The Caps; You Look Dumb As Fuck!

  • BrianRaider

    “Strike Or You Starve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  • Clondyke Classic

    You can say what you want but errthing he said is the absolute truth

  • wat

    When DOESN’T Scarface speak 100% truth?

  • Dymonaire

    Yes sir …Scarface keeps it real ..Truth said!

  • RDS409

    Face is one of my favorites and I agree but don’t agree..there is too much good music out there and artist who put there heart into what they do. You just have to look for it. From a radio/mainstream viewpoint though, yeah(Not to say there aren’t any good mainstream songs), but that’s not really news. And no its not just rap. Most genres(including country and rock music) are being dumbed down.and copy pasted.

  • Logic Nthe Chi

    Here is soul

  • locblac

    Tru shit OG all tha shit is just that shit everybody talkin about dope and hoez ringz chainz and more bullshit and it fuck up your shit bring me up in tha 80z im a 1981 baby we had real shit back then up until tha 1999 all tha shit wuz going left and have not got back right since og real talk nwa outkast 8ball n mjg master p tha getto boyz all real shit that help me out in life at a lil bg so now itz all bad I understand doe Bigg homie real talk im blac aka locblac aka deeloc from tha south Mississippi

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  • Mactearz

    Absolutely agree with uncle face. Scarface one of the greatest musicl artists ever. Who stole the soul?

  • EL SOUL*

    Agreed. You don’t find enough soul at the forefront of Hip-Hop today. But some of us are trying to restore it. One track at a time…