Scarface (rapper)

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Scarface in 2013
Scarface in 2013
Background information
Birth nameBrad Terrence Jordan[1]
Also known asMr. Scarface, Face, DJ Akshen, Facemob, Creepy[2]
Born (1970-11-09) November 9, 1970 (age 53)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
GenresHip hop
  • Rapper
  • record producer
Years active1988–present

Brad Terrence Jordan (born November 9, 1970), better known by his stage name Scarface, is an American rapper and record producer best known as a member of the Geto Boys, a hip-hop group from Houston, Texas.[2] He grew up in Houston and is originally from the city's South Acres (Crestmont Park) neighborhood.[3] In 2012, The Source ranked him #16 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time,[4] while ranked him #6 on its list of the 50 Greatest MCs of Our Time (1987–2007).[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Scarface attended Woodson Middle School in Houston, Texas.[6] He dropped out of high school and worked as a drug dealer.[7] As a teenager, he attempted suicide, and subsequently spent time in a hospital psychiatric ward.[7]

Scarface converted to Islam in 2006.[8]


Jordan began his career as DJ Akshen (pronounced "Action"), recording and deejaying for Lil' Troy's Short Stop, which was a local record label in Houston, before adopting the name "Scarface" as a reference to the 1983 film by that name.[9] After releasing the 12" single "Scarface/Another Head Put To Rest" (1989), which was written by Chris "Mr. 3-2" Barriere and produced by Def Jam Blaster[10] and Bruce "Grim" Rhodes,[11] Scarface signed with Rap-A-Lot Records and joined the Geto Boys, replacing a member who left. The first Geto Boys album he appeared on was the group's second album, Grip It! On That Other Level (1989), a highly successful album that garnered the group a large fanbase. Radio and MTV refused to play any songs from the album because of their violent lyrics; however, the album made the Geto Boys into one of the most successful Southern hip hop groups of their era.

In 1992, Scarface (along with fellow Geto Boys member Bushwick Bill) appeared on the Kool G Rap & DJ Polo album Live and Let Die. This collaboration was viewed as notable due to the influential roles that Scarface and Kool G Rap have played in Southern hip hop and East Coast hip hop respectively. During this period of his career, Scarface also worked with the West Coast gangsta rap stars Ice Cube and MC Eiht, as well as with his friend Devin the Dude, a fellow Rap-A-Lot signee.

Scarface's 1991 solo album Mr. Scarface Is Back was a success, and his popularity soon overshadowed that of the other Geto Boys. Scarface remained in the group, but he released a series of solo albums that kept him in the public eye, and they sold well. Scarface is the only Geto Boys member who has remained with the group ever since the lineup was revamped in 1989. Scarface's popularity as a solo artist peaked with the albums The Diary and The Last of a Dying Breed. In particular, The Last of the Dying Breed achieved both critical and commercial success, and led Scarface to be named "Lyricist of the Year" at the 2001 Source Awards.[2] In 2002, Scarface released The Fix, the follow-up to The Last of a Dying Breed. The Fix was another highly successful album, which featured a wide range of high-profile guests such as Nas, Jay-Z, Faith Evans, Kelly Price, WC, and Beanie Sigel.

It was around this time that Scarface also returned to the studio with the Geto Boys for what turned out to be their final album as a trio, The Foundation (2005). Further, he was featured on Duets: The Final Chapter, a posthumous album by the Notorious B.I.G. Scarface also made guest appearances on a variety of other tracks throughout the 2000s, including on albums by Beanie Sigel, Freeway, and Tech N9ne.

In addition to his career as a rapper, Scarface was the coordinator and president of Def Jam South from 2000 to 2005, where he fostered the career of the rapper Ludacris.[2] He also produced three tracks for the UGK album Underground Kingz.

Despite his limited commercial appeal, Scarface has consistently attained wide respect from within the industry, and he has been described as "your favorite rapper's favorite rapper".[12] In 2005, comedian Chris Rock praised Scarface as one of the best three rappers of all time on his list of the Top-25 Hip-Hop Albums ever.[13]

On June 30, 2010, Scarface announced that he was working on a new album titled The Habit, which would include features from John Legend and Drake, and that it was scheduled for release that fall.[14] For one production on the album, Scarface co-hosted a worldwide producer showcase with iStandard from which thousands of producers were considered and after a selection of the top 8, Alex Kresovich was named winner.[15] The album would feature a production from Eminem.[16] In February 2011, news came that he had been held in jail without bail since September 2010 for failure to pay child support in four different cases.[17] He was released from jail in August 2011 and as of 2024, The Habit remains an unreleased album with no announcements made since the arrest. Scarface released a separate album titled Deeply Rooted in 2015.

Media appearances[edit]

Scarface also appeared in the Mike Judge film Idiocracy as a pimp named Upgrayedd.[18] Judge also used the Scarface track "No Tears" and Geto Boys tracks "Still" and "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta" in his 1999 film Office Space.[19]

He has appeared in the two video games: Def Jam Vendetta and its sequel Def Jam: Fight For NY.

At the 2015 BET Hip Hop Awards, he received the I Am Hip Hop award.[20]

Public service[edit]

On June 10, 2019, Jordan launched his campaign to be elected as the Councilperson for District D of the Houston City Council when the current seat holder, Dwight Boykins, decided to run for mayor.[21][22] He announced his candidacy a day after the death of his friend and bandmate Bushwick Bill. Jordan's campaign is defined by the vision of "putting the neighbor back in the hood," which is the motto of Positive Purpose Movement,[23] an organization that he founded.[24] The organization works with area schools to promote education and empowerment among children from underrepresented communities.[25]

Jordan was quoted in The Washington Post stating that "Scarface is dead." Positioning himself as a viable candidate for City Council, he emphasized his desire to build a legacy of public service when he added, "I'm not going to be a 75-year-old rapper... I'm going to be finishing my last term in office as president when I'm 75".[22] Jordan was defeated by former educator Carolyn Evans-Shabazz in a run-off election on December 15, 2019. [26]

Personal life[edit]

Scarface claims to be a cousin of singer Johnny Nash.[27] He also owns and collects Gibson Les Paul electric guitars.

On September 14, 2021, Scarface received a kidney transplant from his son.[28]


Scarface released a memoir on April 21, 2015, which details various moments from his childhood, getting his first record deal from Rap-A-Lot, and his tenure at Def Jam South.[29][30][31]

  • Diary of a Madman (2015)


Studio albums[edit]

Collaboration albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]


  1. ^ "Texas Births 1926–1995". Family Tree Networks.
  2. ^ a b c d Jason Birchmeier (November 9, 1970). "Scarface | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  3. ^ Rodriguez, Lori. "SHIFTING DEMOGRAPHICS / Latinos bringing change to black neighborhoods / Newcomers are finding acceptance comes gradually." Houston Chronicle. Monday May 2, 2005. A1. Retrieved on February 4, 2009.
  4. ^ "The Source's Top 50 Lyricists Of All Time **Complete List Inside**". Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  5. ^ "The 50 Greatest Rappers of All Time". June 25, 2014. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  6. ^ Lomax, John Nova. "South Park Monster." Houston Press. Thursday June 6, 2002. 3. Retrieved on February 6, 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Stressed Out: How 'Mind Playing Tricks On Me' Gave Anxiety A Home In Hip-Hop". Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  8. ^ Sean Price Interviews Scarface: They Discuss Religion, Emceeing & Ultimate Rap Collaborations., October 29, 2012.
  9. ^ "Scarface". Archived from the original on January 6, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "Scarface (3) – Scarface". Discogs. 1989. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  11. ^ "Bruce "Grim Reaper" Rhodes Discography". Discogs. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  12. ^ Reid, Shaheem. (August 16, 2002) Scarface Keeps Eye On Future – News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News. Retrieved on October 25, 2011.
  13. ^ "Chris Rock's Top 25 Hip Hop Albums". Rate Your Music. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  14. ^ Harper, Rosario. (June 30, 2010) Scarface Defends Return From Retirement, "I'm Stepping Back In On My Terms". Retrieved on October 25, 2011.
  15. ^ "iStandard Texas Time – Help Decide Scarface's Next Track / iStandard In Dallas @ TUMS This Week |". Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  16. ^ "". Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  17. ^ "". Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  18. ^ "Idiocract Cast and Crew". TV Guide. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  19. ^ "Office Space – Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  20. ^ Johnson, Victoria (October 14, 2015). "Scarface receives legendary I am hip hop award". Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  21. ^ Connor, Jay (June 10, 2019). "Houston Rap Legend Scarface Running for Houston City Council". The Root. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  22. ^ a b Donovan-Smith, Orion (June 11, 2019). "'Scarface is dead': The Geto Boys rapper says he's focused on running for Houston City Council". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  23. ^ "Positive Purpose Movement | United States". mysite. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  24. ^ Gill, Julian (June 10, 2019). "Rapper Scarface announces run for Houston City Council seat". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  25. ^ "Geto Boys' Scarface Announces He's Running for Houston City Council". Billboard. June 10, 2019. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  26. ^ "Cisneros wins by whisker, other incumbents cruise in council runoffs". Houston Chronicle. December 15, 2019. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  27. ^ Noisey (October 5, 2016). "Scarface of Geto Boys: Guitar Moves". YouTube. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  28. ^ "Rap Pioneer Scarface Receives Life Saving Kidney Transplant". Houstonia Magazine. September 24, 2021. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  29. ^ "SCARFACE (@BrotherMob)". Twitter. January 5, 2010. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  30. ^ "Facemob Music". Facemob Music. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  31. ^ Jordan, Brad "Scarface"; Ingram, Benjamin Meadows (April 21, 2015). Diary of a Madman: The Geto Boys, Life, Death, and the Roots of Southern Rap (9780062302632): Brad "Scarface" Jordan, Benjamin Meadows Ingram: Books. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0062302632.

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