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1 January, 2002@12:00 am

While Nas and Jay-Z battle over who is the king of New York, and Dr. Dre wears his crown over California, has the question ever been asked, who is the ruler of The South? Looking back at history, there’s one man who has kept his place in the game with a classic album under his belt, numerous classic singles, and now an executive position at Def Jam South . It ain’t Master P, Juvenile, Baby, Jermaine Dupri, or any of these other temporary motherfuckers, it’s without argument Mr. Scarface, and he’s back with another Fix of southern-cooked dope.

Well almost. Anyone who’s paid attention to Scarface over the years will say that his sound isn’t necessarily influenced by what the South is “supposed” to sound like, but rather an amalgamation of the two coasts he sits between. The Fix plays like a Def Jam album, but with commercial trends of the moment shifting back to samples (study “The Blueprint”), even those who weren’t up to speed on the trends will bang tracks on this album as if they were “Mr. Scarface” or “My Minds Playin’ Tricks On Me”.

From the get-go, Scarface makes a fine entrance with “Safe”, soulfully breaking down the rules of the motherfuckin’ game. He continues into two beautiful Kanye West tracks, first “In Cold Blood”, which gives new dimension to the “Oh Boy” producer’s sound. While Kanye’s got you open, he drops “Guess Who’s Back”, yet another slammin’ collaboration between Scarface & Jay-Z. And despite personal beefs, ‘Face invites Nas along to blaze a 50 on “In Between Us”. Meanewhile, he takes it back to the west side with fonky shit like “Sellout” and “I Ain’t The One” (feat. W.C.). The list of back-to-back bangers on this album hits you like a right hook and left jab over and over again.

It’s not completely flawless, as ‘Face lets a few little sappy R&B tinged jams enter the mix. But even so, Scarface is such a captivating emcee, painting stunning pictures of the sorrows of the slums, the singing seems perfectly warranted on tracks like “What Can I Do” (feat. Kelly Price) and “In Between Us”. The only time it’s found mildly offensive is when ‘Face resorts to preacher mode, resulting in mushy crooning (“Heaven”, “Someday”), for more of “that ol’ bible bap” last heard on KRS-ONE’s Spritual Minded.

Those that consider themselves “true” heads to good for this album, or even those who gave only a little love to ‘Face and The Geto Boys in the 90′s, owe it to themselves as well as to ‘Face himself to stop sleeping and check The Fix. All of your heroes, including Gang Starr, Dr. Dre, Nas, Jay-Z, and Redman have shown respect to ‘Face through collaborations - maybe it’s time you did the same?

  Mixtape D.L.
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