Published Sep 04, 2015It's been over seven years since Southern rap monarch Scarface has released an album, and although he's often appeared as a featured artist in that time, his 12th studio album, Deeply Rooted, released on his own label, offers much needed Southern Comfort to the rap game once more.
With over 20 years of experience in the rap game, Scarface doesn't need to prove that he can rap, or that his lyricism continues to hinge on poignant messaging and delivery. He pulls from his life experience to paint vivid imagery expressing his internal dialogue here: "God," featuring John Legend, tackles religion as Scarface outlines what he'd do if he were a god, while "Keep It Moving," featuring Avant, explores love. Scarface also digs deep into his own mind as he revisits his darkest times with depression on the Rush Davis-featuring "Steer" and M. Mac and J. Baum-produced "Voices."
The best guest spot on the album comes from fellow Houston, TX newcomer Jack Freeman, who takes "The Hot Seat" with Scarface. The melodic and highly orchestrated instrumental opens up quoting Ice Cube's "It Was A Good Day." And although Scarface holds his own on "Do What I Do," featuring Nas and Rick Ross, it's Nas who truly shines on the single about the industrial prison complex, offering a standout socio-political message.
Over the course of two decades, Scarface's music has been grounded in soul, bass and keys, and long-time collaborator N.O. Joe achieves that once again on Deeply Rooted's production — but it shows when he's not there. The latter third of the album, which features most of the outside production, falls flat and misses the point of being "deeply rooted."
Regardless, it's the effortless lyricism Scarface offers up that leaves listeners engrossed by his music. Although Deeply Rooted may not hold up to previous albums in the grand scheme of his discography, the veteran once again planted seeds for his legacy to grow. (Facemob Music / BMG)