Popular hip-hop artist Scarface, born on November 9, 1970, is known as one of the most iconic performers of the genre. Having made his beginnings in hip-hop as a member of the group Geto Boys, he went on to make a name for himself as a solo rap artist. His unique storytelling established him as one of the pre-eminent artists of the genre and he has been named among the top 50 lyricists and M.C.s of all time. Celebrate the birthday of this icon with insights and trivia from his life and career.
Scarface was born Bradley Terrence Jordan on November 9, 1970, in Houston, Texas. He is of African-American descent. His mother is Oma Terry. He developed an interest in music as a child, learning from his musician uncles who often gathered in his home for jam sessions. He attended Woodson Middle School in Houston and dropped out of high school to peddle drugs on the streets. Having been diagnosed with manic depression when he was 16, he attempted suicide and was admitted to a psychiatric ward in a hospital.
Jordan began his career in music under the moniker D.J. Akshen, recording for a local record label called Short Stop in Houston, owned by rapper Lil’ Troy. He then changed his moniker to Scarface, which would be associated with him for the rest of his career. It was here that his first solo single ‘Scarface’ was released in 1989. Later that year, he went on to sign up with Rap-A-Lot Records and joined the group Geto Boys, and featured in their successful second album, “Grip It! On That Other Level.” In 1991, his first solo album titled “Mr. Scarface is Back” was released and it became a massive hit. The album reached number 51 on Billboard Hot 200 and propelled Jordan to instant fame. Even after achieving success as a solo artist, he continued to remain with Geto Boys, who garnered more popularity due to his presence. His second solo album, “The World is Yours,” was released in 1993 and made it to the top 10 on Billboard 200 and was certified gold. Then, in 1994, he released his third solo album, “The Diary,” which debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 200 chart and was certified platinum.
His fourth studio album, “The Untouchable,” was released in 1997, debuting at the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for the first time in his career. In 1998, he released his fifth studio album, “My Homies,” which included collaborations with hip-hop artists the likes of 2Pac, Ice Cube, Too Short, and others. The album peaked at the number one spot on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. For his sixth studio album released in 2000, “The Last of a Dying Breed,” he won a Source Award for Best Lyricist of the Year in 2001. This was also the time when he served as the President of Def Jam South, the music recording division of Def Jam Recording. In 2002, he released his first album with Def Jam Recordings, titled “The Fix.” The album featured guest performances from Jay-Z, Nas, and Faith Evans, among others, and peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 chart. In 2005, he quit Def Jam South. The following year, he released a sequel to “My Homies,” titled “My Homies Part 2,” and also made a brief appearance in the movie “Idiocracy.”
In 2007, he released his ninth studio album, “Made,” which was a critical and commercial success. Releasing his tenth studio album in 2008, “Emeritus,” Jordan announced that it would be his final studio album. In 2015, he was awarded the “I am Hip-Hop Award” at the B.E.T. Hip-Hop Awards for completing 25 years in the genre. This was also the year he released his official biography, “Diary of a Madman.” After a seven-year hiatus, he released his 11th studio album, “Deeply Rooted,” and two years later, he released “Deeply Rooted: The Lost Files.” In 2019, he announced his run for Councilperson for the Houston City Council, contesting unsuccessfully against the winning candidate. In 2021, he and fellow Geto Boys member Willie D. started a podcast, “Geto Boys Reloaded,” which debuted at number three on the Apple Podcast Charts. In 2022, he announced a 32-city farewell tour across the U.S.
Jordan is acknowledged as one of the greatest lyricists in hip-hop, named among the Top 50 lyricists and M.C.s of all time by “The Source” magazine and About.com. He has often been in the news for his controversial personal life. He is also known for his vocal political activism and philanthropy. His exceptional storytelling and creativity placed him among the most popular musicians in hip-hop and he continues to remain a legend for fans.
Marking the beginning of his career, Jordan releases his first solo single ‘Scarface,’ and joins Geto Boys.
Jordan releases his first solo album titled “Mr. Scarface is Back,” which becomes a massive hit, reaching number 51 on Billboard Hot 200.
His fourth studio album, “The Untouchable,” debuts at the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for the first time in his career.
Releasing the album “Emeritus,” Jordan announces that it will be his final studio album.
Jordan is awarded the “I am Hip-Hop Award” at the B.E.T. Hip-Hop Awards for completing 25 years in the genre.
Announcing his retirement for the second time, Jordan announces a farewell tour across 32 cities in the U.S.
Why We Love Scarface
He is a legend
It needs no reiteration that Jordan is perhaps the greatest hip-hop lyricist of all time. His evocative lyrics and creative storytelling have been widely acknowledged as being par excellence.
He takes a stand
Jordan is politically active and makes no bones about taking a stand on issues that matter. He openly voices his dissent on causes he considers important.
He gives back to the community
Jordan is well-known for his philanthropic activities. He has been involved with several charity organizations, supporting the rehabilitation of the youth, and has even collaborated with brands to generate donations for charity.
5 Surprising Facts
He is an avid golfer
Jordan has been playing golf for the past several years and is working on improving his game.
He plays the guitar left-handed
Being a lefty, Jordan plays the guitar with his dominant hand, flipping the instrument around to play it backward.
He recorded 2Pac’s last single
Jordan and 2Pac recorded the single ‘Smile’ before the latter died in 1996, making it 2Pac’s last single recorded before his death.
He is a blues guitarist
While he is predominantly known for rap, he is also into soul music and blues.
He was arrested
Jordan has been arrested several times for failing to pay child support for his children.
Is Scarface a good rapper?
Yes, Jordan is a good rapper and can even be called one of the best rappers of his time for his unique storytelling.
What is the real name of Scarface, the rapper?
His real name is Bradley Terrence Jordan.
How old is Scarface the rapper?
Born in 1970, Jordan is 51 years old as of 2022.
Scarface’s birthday dates