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An argument could be made that Scarface is a one-note rapper, but his note is the most complex and darkest in the hip-hop world. Beginning in the late 1980s with the illustrious Geto Boys, the Houston rapper's gruff bark and vividly recounted tales of bloody pathos and drugland betrayal set the template for an entire generation of southern rappers, preceding modern trap rappers by nearly two decades. His solo debut, 1991's gangsta-rap classic Mr. Scarface Is Back, established the 5th Ward word slinger as one of rap's most gifted storytellers. Since then, 'Face has released a few classics, beginning in 1994 with the harrowing and deeply personal The Diary, which produced the excruciatingly vivid "I Seen a Man Die." In 2003 The Fix married the lyricist's dark tales with productions from Kanye West and guest spots from Jay-Z, Nas and Faith Evans. His latest, 2007's Made, is typical 'Face: gritty tales of a dark, violent world.

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