Scarface Says He "Exchanged A Lot of Records" With Jay-Z, Calls Nas "A Masterful MC"
Scarface had set down with Rock The Bells for the new series Classic Record Reflections and talked about everything from his recording process, to his time as the president of Def Jam South, and collaborating with Nas and Jay-Z on his 2002 classic, The Fix.
Scarface launched his career in the late 80s, and throughout the decades, his output has consistently made him one of the most respected MC/producers in Hip-Hop. He talked about how focused he is when he's in the studio.
"I don't like nobody in the studio with me when I'm producing, or when I'm rapping," he said. "I don't want the distractions. I don't want you fuckin' talkin'. I don't want you on your phone. I don't want you recording. I want you to get the fuck out. I don't play around in there because that was my livelihood, that was how I earned my living so I took it serious as fuck."
Face said Jay-Z, who he collaborated with on the Kanye West-produced standout "Guess Who's Back," from The Fix, would listen to different beats, silently mouth words to himself, and then pop into the booth. "And he'd go lay the shit," Face laughed, explaining how Jay famously writes lyrics in his head. "It's over. That's Jay-Z. Jay-Z and I exchanged a lot of records.
In 2002, in the midst of Jay-Z and Nas' infamous beef, Scarface said it was important for him to get both rappers on his now classic album. That he was able to do it so easily speaks to his own legacy and influence.
"I wanted to get Jay-Z and Nas on my album because they were feuding," Face remembered. "I wanted to bring these two together on a record and show the world that it's just rap. Why they were feuding, that's no my fuckin' business. I wanted to make the dopest fucking record that I could make and I feel like to make the dopest fuckin' record that I could make, I would have to have two of the best MCs of all-time on that shit."
He also talked about making the beat for another album gem "In Between Us" while Nas was in the booth rapping. "Nas is like... a masterful MC," he said of the rapper, who he's collaborated with on several songs.
Scarface will be performing at the Rock the Bells Festival on Aug. 6. Watch his full interview above.