Scarface’s Tiny Desk Concert: A Powerful Showcase From Rap Royalty

Since he hit the scene with the Geto Boys in 1989, Scarface has been a juggernaut in rap. Scarface’s undeniable spirit and contributions to hip-hop history took a scary turn a couple of years ago when he battled a severe bout of COVID, an ordeal that brought him to the brink of death. In a testament to the strength of familial bonds, Scarface’s son Chris stepped forward, donating a kidney to save his father’s life.

Now, Scarface stands tall and vibrant, delivering a captivating Tiny Desk Concert that reaffirms his enduring legacy in the rap game. The performance, hosted at NPR headquarters, is a remarkable showcase of resilience, talent, and the Southern rap sound that Scarface has championed throughout his illustrious career.

Accompanied by a full live band, Scarface creates an immersive musical experience, with longtime collaborator Mike Dean, an accomplished keyboardist, contributing to the sonic tapestry. The Tiny Desk Concert not only features renditions of Scarface’s classic tracks but also unveils the stories behind some of these iconic songs.


As Scarface delves into the narrative behind his timeless creations, he humorously attributes much of his creative process to being in a particular state of mind: “I was f***ing stoned. Like white guy stoned. Mike Dean stoned.” This candid reflection adds a personal touch to the performance, giving fans a glimpse into the laid-back yet profound atmosphere in which some of hip-hop’s most beloved tracks were conceived.

One standout moment during the half-hour set is Scarface’s performance of the 1996 hit “Mary Jane.” In an unexpected twist, Scarface picks up a guitar and treats the audience to some atmospheric shredding. Known for his love for the instrument, Scarface’s guitar skills take center stage in this memorable rendition, showcasing a side of the artist rarely seen on such a grand platform.

Scarface’s Tiny Desk Concert is not just a musical performance; it’s a celebration of a seasoned artist’s journey, resilience, and the enduring impact of Southern rap on the broader hip-hop landscape. Scarface’s ability to seamlessly blend storytelling, humor, and musical prowess in an intimate setting like the Tiny Desk is a testament to his mastery of the craft and his unwavering commitment to the art form. Watch the full set below and witness the living legend in action.