This morning, after we stumbled into the office with champagne hangovers, we got on the phone with Houston rap legend Scarface to talk to him about the completion of his final solo album Emeritus, and last night's historic victory for Obama. He did not disappoint.
Interview by Sam Hockley-Smith
How are you feeling about last night?
I’m trying to digest this shit man. You know, I’m overwhelmed.
It’s crazy. I’m glad I’m able to talk to you about it this morning.
I’m glad to be able to express myself about it.
I saw a video a little while back where you went off on McCain. Is this a validation for you?
I think that the way I feel about McCain is probably how McCain feels about a lot of black people. I feel like McCain just don’t have no respect for black people, and I’ll say it again: he never looked at the man during the first debate and then even before that he voted against the Martin Luther King holiday. So that tells me right there, what kind of dude would do that? For Barack to—you know how when you’re growing up, you tell your mom and dad that you want to be the president of the United States—that’s probably really…are you white?
Yeah, I am.
That’s probably really easy for you to say that, and your parents can see the possibility of it happening. But for me to say that when I was a little boy to my parents. It was like, Shiiiit, uhhh okay. There was no way possible.
What happened with this guy… It's one thing that he was the better candidate and America made the best choice between candidates. He just so happened to be black. That’s what it is. But for him to be that is big shit to black people, not because all those fucking beatings and hangings and auctions and the Willy Lynch theories and Dred Scott decisions. That’s like…wow. You can’t take this but the way I give it to you, but I know how white people have felt since George Washington. With white presidents they feel fucking protected. Andrew Johnson was like—and you can read this, I’m not going to say nothing you can’t go back and look at—but Andrew Johnson’s dad was like, This is a white man’s country governed by white man laws. I understand what people were saying, I feel that. But to have a president in the office that’s of color makes us feel a little bit more at ease. Knowing we have someone—and I’m not just talking about black people now—but knowing that WE have someone that’s looking out for our best interest, and that’s the best interest of what’s in America.
Absolutely. And I think it’s crazy too because the young black man in America has always been the most marginalized.
I feel like that, too. As you get older and you move into your 50s and 60s and 70s and 80s, you’ll see the United States presidential candidates start to become a lot younger and a lot more multicultural. You may have an Indian run in a few years, or somebody that’s born in America from Iraq. I’m so glad we got somebody in that fucking office—red, black, green or brown—that’s for the American people. What the fuck are you doing in Iraq? What the fuck is going on over there to where you have to stick your nose in it? What happened!? You know what I mean? This shit was rumored that Bin Laden had set this terrorist plot up to down the buildings. Well, if he’s in Afghanistan and Pakistan, what the fuck are you doing fucking with Saddam Hussein? What does he have to do with anything? Let me tell you, since we’re on this shit, the fucking oil that that country is sitting on, the Bushes wanted that shit, the fucking Cheneys, the Halliburton dude, he wants that shit. That motherfucker bellied up a fucking country. He bankrupted a country. But if you look at the line of business they are in, it fucking boomed. So W is not as stupid as you thought he was, he looked out for his best interest, which was playing that Texas tea game, that black gold game. Feel me?
I think that one of the mistakes this country made was that we assumed he was stupid when he was actually a crafty dude.
He blamed it on WMDs. They didn’t find that shit. It wasn’t over there, but we’re still there. That’s four to five years. Four years later and you still ain’t found them fucking weapons, but you got the dictator. A dictator was hung for what they said he done. We can’t police the world.
I appreciate the American people picking the best candidate. The most…centered. He’s not leaning left and he’s not leaning right, he’s right there in the middle. He’s not just for niggas or for white folk. He’s for everybody. "There ain’t no hard feelings, I just want to get in here and do my fucking job," and I respect that about dude. You can’t say that this is about a black president or a black candidate because Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton ran… it ain’t the black shit. But for him to be black was a great, it was icing on the cake. Anybody could have won this year. I think the young people really stepped out and rocked the vote. The generations are switching over and all of that old shit that went on, it’s not going to police us or govern us anymore. I’m glad my children got to see that shit, see how it’s really supposed to be done so they’ll know how to do it. Shit, that opens up the door for everything. The door was open on everything except being the president of the United States of America, and that shit is open!
Is this something you ever thought you’d see?
Never in my lifetime. I didn’t think I would see it in my children’s—I didn’t think my children’s children’s grandkids would see it in their lifetime. I talked to my grandmother last night and I talked to my mother and then I talked to my friends and then I talked to my children. My two youngest boys, they don’t understand why their mom was crying, why she was so fucking flabbergasted, blown away. My wife couldn’t talk. She was that choked up.
Not to switch gears too abruptly, I also wanted to talk to you about your upcoming album.
I’d like to do that.
When I first heard you were recording Emeritus, I was surprised. I had been under the impression that Made was going to be your final solo album.
There’s some shit on Made…I left some stones unturned. It was some shit that went on during my career. It was some shit that went on that I didn’t address properly that I wanted to make sure I addressed before I shifted gears. I’m not retiring from music, but Scarface is dead. I want to do something else but I do want motherfuckers to know—or at least different rappers or the fans that listen to me—that my fucking record is flawless.
So this is the definitive statement of Scarface the solo rapper?
Yeah, I’m doing something else. I’m going to exercise my ability to make music. I’m not only the best fucking rapper, I’m one of the best musicians, too. I’m one of the best producers, one of the best singers. You hear me? I’m not just one of the best rappers. I’m one of the greatest ever. Still relevant twenty-one years later. I can say I’m the best, I can say that I can’t be fucked with and mean that shit. I can say I’m the king and mean that shit. There’s certain shit you don’t do when you’re wearing that fucking crown. Whoever you are, you have to be that. You know? I was always who I was. I never changed, I never switched. I’m the fucking truth.
That’s about all I have, it’s been good to talk to you after everything that went down last night.
It’s fantastic…let me back up.
Okay, back up.
Barack is the realest nigga in the game. Out of two or three realest niggas in the game, I’m the realest nigga in the game. Realest nigga in the game. Write it like that: “g-g-a” not “g-g-e-r.” You know? Write it right. Spell it right. I appreciate you taking the time out to talk to me, and I’m getting ready to get my ass up and go hit me some golf balls.