Scarface: Tiny Desk Concert
Scarface’s Tiny Desk concert radiates with his decadeslong passion as an emcee and producer. There’s calculated intent behind every word and note of this 30-minute set and I learned that his love for golf also runs deep during our initial meeting. He was playing a round and had difficulty dividing his attention between the plan and the course. Three days before the show, amid rehearsals, I got a call from Facemob asking, “What if I brought Mike Dean?” My expectations were already high, but that final addition set the stage for something special.
Mike Dean provided unmatched authenticity, and their shared stories added sentimental value to this performance. After all, his signature keys and synths can be heard on most of Scarface’s classics and countless Rap-A-Lot records. Here, we get a rare glimpse of Scarface the conductor, bouncing through multiple eras of his catalog including “On My Block,” “Mary Jane” and the bone-chilling “I Seen a Man Die.”
Scarface, along with Rakim, was recently awarded the inaugural Hip-Hop Grandmaster Award from the newly launched Paid in Full Foundation, which includes a sizable financial prize and healthcare. No matter how the never-ending hip-hop greats debate is sliced, the rapper’s place is cemented as one of the most influential storytellers in the culture and his Tiny Desk is proof.