Rapper Scarface may be "deeply rooted" in Houston, as the title of his latest project suggests, but the former members of the Geto Boys is certainly becoming more comfortable in Cleveland.
Last year, he played shows on back-to-back nights at the Grog Shop, but this time around, Scarface, who played the Grog Shop last night, played back-to-back sets in one night.
This latest tour, dubbed Scarface Unplugged, features a full band including a keyboardist, drummer, guitar and bass players; Scarface handles vocals and guitar at times.
You can see a slideshow of photos from the show here
A cloud of smoke seemed to consume the room at last night's show — and that was before the rapper performed "Mary Jane," his ode to marijuana. The set list moved back and forth between newer material and time tested classics, but the audience didn't mind. The result would find newer songs like "Hot Seat" and "Anything" followed up with tunes like "Fuck Faces," "Scarface" and "Jesse James."
"You hear it like that on the album," Scarface said of the slight twang in his guitar strumming. "You hear it like that because I played that shit like that."
During the first show, Scarface invited a young lady from the crowd onto the stage to rap as the band jammed out. Her initial lines were straight out of the movie Coming to America, which brought some laughs and playful boos.
The first set ended with "Mind Playing Tricks" and "The World Is a Ghetto." On the latter, the rapper sang lines from the original WAR tune before transitioning to the Geto Boys take on the song.
"We're gonna jam harder because we're real fucked up now," Scarface said as the band took to the stage. The second set was slated for midnight but began closer to 12:30 a.m.
The band played George Duke's "Dukey Stick" before Scarface's "Let Me Roll," which then led into "In Between Us" and "Southside." There is a lyric in his song from 1991, "Money and the Power" that refers to "stacking money like Trump." He recited it but also made sure to toss in a "Fuck Trump" for good measure as well.
The second set also featured a performance of Scarface's latest single, "Black Still," which is a play on Public Enemy's "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos."
After a playful rendition of the theme from All in the Family
, the late-night set began to wind down with "Never Seen a Man Die" and "Fuck Faces" as the band rocked out all the way to the finish line.
Two shows in a single night doesn't happen very often in hip-hop, especially when the headliner is a legendary veteran with over 20 years in the game. While the task seemed daunting, Scarface came with the energy and support to make both shows worthwhile. He said that his intention with the "unplugged" set was to take what he and his band do in the studio and bring it on the road.