Classic Material: Scarface Looks Back At ‘The Diary’ 20 Years Later
Classic Material: Scarface, The Diary
Scarface reminisces on his XXL-rated third solo album that defined his career.
As told to Eric Diep
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the October/November 2014 issue of XXL Magazine.
This year, Scarface is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of The Diary. The milestone marks a high point for ’Face’s solo run, which established the Geto Boy as an MC who expertly dissected the street life through a dark and vivid lens. Songs like “I Seen A Man Die” and “Hand Of The Dead Body” gained critical acclaim that eventually fueled the LP’s cult following. The Houston legend chops it up with XXL about one of his greatest projects.
Scarface: We rapped for the neighborhoods. I didn’t give a fuck about rap, being a rapper. I just wanted to impress the guys in the neighborhood that I grew up with. I just give a fuck about how many numbers of people in my neighborhood loved my shit, how many cars drive by bangin’ my shit.
I think when a person touches on death, and when you further touch on death and touched it in the way that I touched it, you can’t do nothing but think. And ’Pac used to always say, “You gonna make a muthafucka think, or you gonna make a muthafucka dance.” That’s ’Pac’s words. He’s saying, “The niggas want what the bitches want.” I wanted to make a muthafucka think.
In order to be a great, you gotta be among the greats. For a muthafucka to even put me in the company of the likes of a [Notorious] B.I.G. or a fuckin’ Nas or a fuckin’ Rakim or a Slick Rick or a Doug E. Fresh or a Big Daddy Kane or a [Kool] G Rap or a Jay Z or a Beanie Sigel or a fuckin’ Q-Tip. Whoever they put me [with]. Or a 2Pac. If my name surfaces in that shit, I know I did something. Out of all of the muthafuckas that could have been, I was one of the best rappers that they ever heard. That’s my legacy.