Descendants of Scarface
by Mosi Reeves | January 26, 2014
There's little need to explain the impact of Brian De Palma's tanning-salon-toasted gangster monolith on hip-hop culture. Everything about Scarface -- from Giorgio Moroder's ice-queen synthesized soundtrack to Tony's barking tantrums and catchphrases for cocaine ("yae yo") -- has been absorbed into the rap repertoire. Rappers have named themselves after characters in the movie, including Texas icon Scarface and New York "coke boy" French Montana (inspired by Tony Montana). Bits of the soundtrack bubble up in Rick Ross' "Push It," which samples liberally from Paul Engemann's Moroder-produced "Scarface (Push It to the Limit)," and Mobb Deep's "G.O.D. Pt. III," which builds around instrumental cues used in the film. This playlist runs the gamut, from songs sampling the movie to tracks that cull from Al Pacino's gonzo dialogue (or, in the case of Jay Z's "Can't Knock the Hustle," recite his lines like Biblical verse). Nas' "The World Is Yours" is simply titled after a motto that inspires Tony's delirious rise and fall, but as a key signifier of modern rap's obsession with the original cocaine cowboy, it feels entirely necessary.