August 06, 2020

Scarface "The Fix" (August 6, 2002)

"...with a superb cross-section of hip-hop's best producers, singers and MCs riding shotgun, The Fix is an undeniable balance of street consciousness and mass appeal. The title for this album [The Fix] is more than a dope-game synonym. It's a statement about how Face methodically stitches a hemorrhaging rap game one heart-wrenching couplet at a time... The lead track, "Safe," says it best: "So listen up, my n!@@as  / And I ain't tryin' to preach / I'm just tellin' it from my side 'cause I'm in the streets...." In the spirit of Italian poet Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, Face keeps the lyrics on this album in three distinct planes of thought: a drug-laced Hell on Earth; a contemplative Purgatory where he muses on the life he's lead; and, of course, the eternal bliss of Paradise. He appeases long-time Scarface fans with killer cuts like "In Cold Blood." Over a lilting piano sample courtesy of Gladys Knight, Face proves there is no honor among thieves - and drug pushers - as he dupes a dealer he's working for out of his supply.... The gangsta boogie continues on "I Ain't The One" featuring W.C. and "Guess Who's Back" featuring Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel. Over Kanye West's pounding keys and interlaced strings, Jigga and Beanie Mac bookend Face's declaration of financial independence: "From the womb to the tomb / A hot pot of joy and a spoon / Tryin' to make me $40,000 and move...." Beyond being "infectious," this track is downright terminal." Click play, cont'd...

The album pivots on tracks like the more reflective "In Between Us" which pairs angelic moans and plucky chords with a stripped-down and vulnerable Nas who steers the song like a suicidal conductor: "Circumstances are like my first fight / I lost it / Was swingin' / My arms buggin' / Adrenaline pumpin' / Oh shit, this little n!@@a's thuggin'...." Uncle Face let's the young'un ride on this one but comes back on "Sellout" with his own thug speak: "I been in fist fights with n!@@as twice my size / Got an incredible record, 27 and five / And the five losses I got, I had to redeem 'em / So he had to fight me every time I seen 'em." Though he painstakingly details his struggles with vices and men, it's Face's battle for his soul that is the most compelling. On songs like the Kelly Price-assisted "What Can I Do?" Face crafts sermons for street disciples who spray paint altars to pay tribute to saints in the 'hood. Kirk Franklin he is not." (The Source). The review continues to champion the LP, but you get the idea. You can't forget the classic single, "My Block," nor The Neptunes-produced "Someday" with Faith Evans. All-around, The Fix rightfully earned the highly coveted 5-mic review! Released on this day in '02, Scarface's The Fix should be revisited, and if you own the CD, break out the plastic baggy that held the liner notes and read more! Also, pick up a copy of Brad 'Scarface' Jordan's book, Diary of a Madman, for more required reading. Salute, 'Face!