Scarface – The Diary (1994)Standouts: “I Seen a Man Die” “Jesse James” “Hand of the Dead Body”
Everybody remembers the first time they heard “I Seen a Man Die." It’s one of those truly melancholy songs where the rapper’s voice sounds physically weighed down by life’s ills. ‘Face was a rapper who always broke ground, whether it was with mental illness, family issues, or depression in his rhymes. The Diary plays as just that – a glimpse of the inner thoughts that mirrored what Brad would see around him.
Gangsta rap had plateaued and Scarface was ahead of his time when it came to addressing more progressive, personal topics. The beats are quintessential Rap-A-Lot, as ‘Face would assist Mike Dean and N.O. Joe in crafting what sounded like the soundtrack to a hip-hop street opera. From top to bottom, The Diary is what solidified Scarface as one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time.