Prior to 1993, Brad “Scarface” Jordan, along with his Geto Boy brethren and Rap-A-Lot founder and CEO James Prince, helped put the south on the proverbial hip-hop map. As a group, the Geto Boys already had three respected albums under their belts (and arguably one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time, with “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” from the We Can’t Be Stopped album) and Scarface’s 1991 debut solo album, Mr. Scarface Is Back, was a critical success that also earned the Houston emcee a gold plaque. He would return with his sophomore effort, The World Is Yours in the summer of 1993.
Crazy C, who was responsible for most of the production on Mr. Scarface Is Back, would be replaced by N.O. Joe, James Smith and John Bido, who all would go on to help create a large chunk of the soundscape throughout the rest of Face’s catalog. And while The World Is Yours did earn Scarface a second consecutive gold plaque, it was received with mixed reviews.
I wonder if Face and Crazy C fell out after Mr. Scarface Is Back. Or maybe he died? I just don’t understand why you’d part ways with the man after he laced you with such fire production. But at the end of the day, it’s all business. If you have any info on Crazy C’s whereabouts or why they parted ways, hit me in the comments.
Intro – The album opens with Scarface choking on a fat joint, then a beautifully soothing instrumental plays before the first official song begins.
Lettin’ Em Know – Over a very vanilla N.O. Joe instrumental, Face kicks The World Is Yours off talking about his upbringing in the 5th Ward streets, just in case you were curious. This was a
weird interesting choice of song to start things off with. You would think you would lead things off with a more high energy track.
Comin’ Agg – Now this should have been the first song of the evening. N.O. Joe redeems himself from the lacklusterness that was the first song with a dope energetic backdrop that has Face snappin’ on his adversaries (“I’m a muthafuckin’ dreadlock, puttin’ fools in headlocks, givin’ niggas headshots…and everybody in your muthafuckin’ area, is tryna scrounge up some money so they can help to bury ya”). This goes very hard.
The Wall -N.O. Joe hooks up a bluesy instrumental that Scarface uses to discuss depression and suicide over. Not great, but I’ve heard a lot worst.
Let Me Roll – This was the lead single from The World Is Yours, and is easily one of my favorite Scarface songs of all time. Normally I like Face for his introspective or psychotic, but always thought-provoking rhymes, but this one has none of those qualities. Instead, Face takes a lighter approach to things (literally and figuratively), as he celebrates smoking weed and kicking it in the 5th Ward. But it’s not Face’s lyrics that make this song great, it’s his self-produced southern-funk-smothered-in-gravy backdrop that makes this a winner. No matter how many times I listen to this one, it still sounds great.
You Don’t Hear Me Doe – DMG, which is an acronym for arguably the worst hip-hop alias in the history of aliases (DetriMental Ganxta), was the Minnesota born (repping for my home base!) Texas transplant protégé of Scarface. He took the protégé thing too far, because he sounds way too similar to Brad on this one. DMG would go on to release one solo album and a couple more as a member of Scarface’s vanity group Facemob, all on the Rap-A-Lot label, but he never really managed to make a name for himself. Regardless of DMG’s shortcomings, N.O. Joe’s instrumental on this one is pretty sick.
One Time – Short acoustic instrumental plays while audio of police in pursuit of a “suspect” play over it. That’s all I got.
Dying With Your Boots On – The title of this song is a phrase used to describe a person who dies in the mist of battle or actively working at/on something. Face uses the term to describe a crooked cop and homeboy turned snitch, that he has to take out. This was decent, and sounds a lot better when listened to with headphones.
I Need A Favor – This short interlude has Scarface putting his mack game down strong, as he talks one of his chicks into giving some booty to one of his boys, over a slick James Smith/John Bido produced instrumental. This is entertainment brothers, so if you value your life (or your girl) I advise you not try this at home. But some of the lines Face throws at her are pretty amusing.
Still That Aggin – Brad continues to serve the listener shit talk and gangsta shit, in either order. Face gets his second production credit of the evening, as he masterfully turns what sounds like a sample of a sex burdened squeaky mattress into a bangin’ backdrop. Well done, Brad.
Strictly For The Funk Lovers – You probably remember RBX from his contribution to Dr. Dre’s classic album The Chronic. Well, he stops by The World Is Yours to talk for nearly 6 minutes about the meaning of a doo-doo chaser, which based on the song title is another term for a funk lover. Maybe if RBX actually rapped on this one (which would probably be pretty hard to do, considering his style and the super slo-mo pace of the beat) it would have worked, but to listen to him talk nonsensically about doo-doo chasers (with his fellow Death Row crew member, Jewel, singing annoying adlibs throughout) for so long isn’t entertaining, nor is it an efficient use of your time.
Now I Feel Ya – This was the second single released from The World Is Yours. I mentioned earlier that “Let Me Roll” is one of my favorite Scarface songs, but this one may be my favorite Face song of all time. The introspective Face is in full effect on this one, as he takes us on a trip down memory lane, recalling some of the lessons he learned on his journey from a boy to becoming a young man. The James Smith/John Bido instrumental serves as the perfect canvas for Brad to paint his vivid pictures through detailed storytelling. This is an underrated classic and one of the examples of why Scarface is beloved by hip-hop fans no matter where they reside on the map.
Funky Lil Aggin – For the third time this evening, Face takes a backseat and lets a guest take the wheel. This time he surrenders the wheel to his kid
puppet protégé, 2Low (at least for most of the song). It’s clear from the jump that Face penned 2Low’s rhymes, as the boy even bites Face’s signature devious chuckle during his adlibs. N.O. Joe’s instrumental is actually decent, but 2Low and Face’s corny rhymes ruin this one, and the extra cheesy reinterpretation of the Where Is Thumbkin nursery rhyme mid song sounds really bad.
Mr Scarface: Part III The Final Chapter – Face picks up where he left of at on “Mr. Scarface” from the Mr. Scarface Is Back album. A few years proves to have done wonders for Brad’s flow, as he sounds so much more polished than he did on part 2. This was dope.
He’s Dead – Scarface must have had an affinity for nursery rhymes. If you recall, on “Mr. Scarface Is Back”, he begins the song with his version of the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” song. Two songs ago he and 2Low remade the “Where Is Thumbkin?” deal, and he begins this one with a remix of “Old Macdonald”. Wtf? After he gets his acapella rendition of the popular pre-school song out of the way, a slow rumbling N.O. Joe instrumental drops for Face to discuss one of his favorite topics of discussion: murder. Not a great song, but after several listens it begins to grow on you.
I’m Black – On the final song of the evening Scarface confronts the forever haunting issue of crooked police profiling and violating black men in America. Unfortunately, Face doesn’t bring anything new to the subject, plus N.O. Joe’s instrumental is so vanilla it should have come with a cone.
Outro – And The World Is Yours ends with gun fire and a soundbite from a news reporter over a sample from Enya’s “Boadicea” (which you probably remember as the sample that would be used for the backdrop for The Fugees’ “Ready Or Not”, a few years later).
Crazy C’s production is sorely missed on The World Is Yours, as it suffers from way too many bland and/or boring instrumentals that at times blend together to form one big ball of mediocrity. And all the unimpressive guest appearances don’t help matters either. On the bright side, Face seems to have sharpened his flow and bars, and delivers a few undeniable classic songs. But as a complete body of work, The World Is Yours is not nearly as entertaining as Mr. Scarface Is Back, and left me a little disappointment.