Full Clip: Scarface Breaks Down Geto Boys & Solo Catalogue

Even when it comes to Full Clip, VIBE has the sense enough to know not to bury the lede. So here it is: Scarface has left Rap-A-Lot Records. In an era of frequent artists drops and changing imprints, the news is indeed surprising given that the man born Brad Jordan has been associated with the James Prince-owned landmark Houston label since 1988. Back then, Scarface made his debut as a member of a revamped Geto Boys with country hard talker Willie D. and menacing dwarf Bushwick Bill. Face, whose at times violent, dark, vivid, complex and emotional lyrics dissected street life, would eventually find immense solo acclaim, becoming the south’s most heralded MC. But when the rapper, multi-instrumentalist and producer talks about going independent on a new album he’s currently finishing up tentatively entitled The Habit, he speaks with both regret and optimism for the future.

“I think with anything that you do in life it has to run its course,” Face tells VIBE of his split from his longtime label home and J. Prince. “And I think that my business relationship with Rap-A-Lot has ran its course. I’m not just a rapper anymore. You can’t make me an artist, anymore. It’s time for me to have my own shit. There’s a lot of money in successful independent records. I was totally unaware of that throughout my career by the label. If you put a few million records out and you are making eight bucks a pop, everything is supposed to be everything. I’m supposed to be a part of that money, right? I think with the amount of money independent artists make I wish I would have made the move a little sooner.”

“I feel good about my opportunities,” Face continues. “I have a son that’s 19-years-old who is a much better rapper than I was at that age! I’m trying to make his career right. I’m going to give him a couple of songs on my new album, which I’m aiming for an October release. He doesn’t have a MC name yet. I’m just going to call him Chris Jordan…because he’s a bad motherfucka, man.”

Whatever the future of Scarface, he can rest assured that he has had one of the most consistent and enviable careers in hip-hop. The always-candid icon takes a look back at his remarkable run. —Keith Murphy


Grip It! On That Other Level (1989)—Geto Boys

I had no fucking idea this record was going to be [so controversial]. I was so excited to finally get my face on somebody’s cassette. The music just drove me. Willie D, Bill and myself literally didn’t know each other. We just sat around for a little while and recorded a few songs and after that James told us, ‘Ya’ll aint getting it done fast enough.’ They took us out to the middle of nowhere and left us together. We were in a house and it was the nicest fucking house I had ever been in my life. But back then we didn’t want to see no beautiful houses in the middle of nowhere. We wanted to be around that hip-hop movement. You also have to take into consideration that we were kids. I was about 17 back then. And we were not recording in a professional studio.

We didn’t get into a professional studio until Rick Rubin came along. But Rick did not want me in the Geto Boys. He didn’t like my rhyme style. Rick wanted to exploit the fact that we were from Texas and I didn’t rap like I was from Texas. I never asked what changed Rick Rubin’s tune. However, I know early on he wasn’t fucking with me. I guess he felt like since we started together, we should finish together, so Scarface stays.

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New Music: Billi Phene Drops 'Love Crimes' Off Of Forthcoming EP

Billi Phene started as a background singer for Rihanna, but since then, she has emerged as a solo entity who is read to take the world by storm on her own accord.

The Bronx-born singer and songwriter recently released her first single off of her forthcoming EP, which is expected to drop in the summer. "Birthed from the ashes of an explosive breakup, 'Love Crimes' is an unapologetic declaration," says a press release for the song, which became available on streaming services Friday, Jan. 11. "Envisioned as an interrogation room confession, it tells the story of emotional self sacrifice."

The artist, who cites her influences as David Bowie, Bjork, Beyonce and Lady Gaga as some of her influences, says that she's always trying to push the envelope. Her lyrics range from mysterious to dangerous to playing with the boundaries of sex.

“I’m always down for edgier soundscapes," she continues. "It’s the story of being nonconformist, and not fitting into any pigeon hole that seems to inform my lyrics and musical choices. It comes from my truest self. Maybe my music can encourage others to do the be different, to be honest with themselves for once.”

Listen to "Love Crimes" below.

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Footage Reveals That R. Kelly Was Aware Of Aaliyah's Age, Contrary To Lawyer's Statement

An old video has resurfaced which showcases that R. Kelly was aware of Aaliyah's age when they married in 1994. The documentary-style interview demonstrates the R&B singer in the studio with a then 14-year-old Aaliyah while they worked on her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number, Okayplayer reports.

“Right now I’m producing a very talented young lady, she’s 14. Aaliyah, she’s real street,” he said, continuing to give her directions on how she should hit her notes on the track’s production.

Amid the blatant evidence, Kelly’s lawyer Steven Greenberg recently said that the 52-year-old singer did not know Aaliyah's real age at the time of their marriage. Greenberg also said that Aaliyah allegedly lied about her age in order to get married.

“..My understanding is that she did not claim to be 15. And in order to get married she had to lie about her age,” Greenberg said on Good Morning America. However, he confirmed the two were married. In 1994, VIBE published Kelly and Aaliyah’s marriage certificate in a cover story documenting their union. An excerpt from journalist Danyel Smith reads:

"Then there’s the story that says Aaliyah is supposedly 19, and none of this is as scandalous as folks would like to make it. There is, after all, an Illinois marriage license dated August 31, for Robert S. Kelly and Aaliyah D. Haughton, which lists their respective ages as 27 and 18,” Smith writes. “(Of course, the marriage would be null and void if the ages are not legit.) The only problem is, while promoting her million-selling Jive Records debut, Age Ain’t Nothin’ but a Number, Aaliyah has been evasive about stating her age. Her official bio says 15, and a record company publicist has said, “We stand behind the bio."

Now, another detail has surfaced in relation to the physical abuse Aaliyah allegedly endured at the hands of Kelly while they were married. Journalist Jim DeRogatis, who's extensively covered Kelly's plight with sexual and physical abuse of women, told The New York Times that he obtained court documents stating physical abuse, BET reports.

“The annulment of the Aaliyah marriage and Aaliyah’s legal claim against him had been sealed in Detroit … they were sealed by the court but those documents were provided to me," he said. “It’s a harrowing document, a non-disclosure agreement on both her part and Kelly’s, vowing not to pursue further legal claims for physical abuse. So it wasn’t just an underage sexual relationship, he hit her, allegedly, according to that court document."

R. Kelly is reportedly under criminal investigation by the state of Georgia since Lifetime aired its docu-series Surviving R.Kelly.  

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Premiere: Jordan Hollywood Goes To War In Visuals For "Explosion"

A war-torn forest reminiscent of 1969’s Vietnam War serves as the perfect backdrop for Jordan Hollywood’s video for “Explosion.” Through a montage of wild greenery, Jordan is seen dodging a rainstorm of fiery explosives. Amid the dangerous scenes, his lyrics tell a variety of sex-induced tales paired with braggadocious bars used to remind his rap contemporaries of his space in the game.

The 25-year-old newcomer, who is signed to Quality Control (Migos, City Girls, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty), centers on having his creative visual artistry merge with his lyrical prowess. For “Explosion,” he wanted to revert back to his old artistic roots.

“I’ve been using the same director, Christian Breslauer, since I was 17,” he told VIBE via email. “He did these war videos back then on a shi**y camera that still looked good. Fast forward to now, we were sitting at his house and I was like, 'Yo, remember those war videos you made back then? Let’s do something like that for “EXPLOSION.'”

The Broward County native credits his label for granting him artistic control to express himself how he deems necessary. He named his latest project FINALLY!  as an ode to feeling like he has creative control, and the agency to pursue his craft.

"I’m signed to the best label in the world, I have full creative control, and I have a platform now," he told Billboard. "Whatever vision I have, I can do it. That’s the best feeling. When I say 'finally,' that’s what I mean. To be an artist, not a lot of artists feel the way I feel. They feel controlled or manipulated by people telling them what to do all the time. With me, I feel like I’m in the perfect space and it’s an unbelievable feeling."

Watch the video for "EXPLOSION" below.

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