XXL celebrates 50 years of hip-hop with this moment:
March 11, 1997: By the time he dropped The Untouchable, Scarface was one of the biggest names in Southern hip-hop. But the sonic scope he provided fans on his fourth studio project, which was released on this day, was beyond any other musical offering he had served up at that time.
The Untouchable is a shining moment in Scarface‘s discography. The 12-track collection featured cameos from the late Tupac Shakur, Daz Dillinger, Ice Cube, Too Short and Dr. Dre. The Houston-bred MC infused his own sound with some G-funk for good commercial measure but still managed to dazzled with witty lyricism on his own terms.
On songs like “Faith” and “For Real” Scarface made it a point to drop knowledge on issues of racism, poverty, and revolution. On tracks like “Smile” featuring Tupac Shakur and Johnny P, the heavy bass, distorted intro and competing lyrics of the rappers caught the attention of fans and highlighted the issues of corrupt government and America’s societal drug problem.
The Untouchable was a success because ‘Face, while being a member of the iconic rap group Geto Boys, wasn’t afraid to branch out musically but still managed to uphold the H-Town sound he’d helped to craft. A week after the album dropped, it debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, making it his first No. 1 debut in his career. On May 16, 1997, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for one million copies sold.
Twenty-six years later, The Untouchable remains Brother Mob’s standout masterpiece.
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Author: Sidney Madden