On this date in 1983, arguably one of the most influential motion pictures in the history of Hip Hop debuted on silver screens across the globe. For almost four decades, Scarface, starring Al Pacino, has been a euphemism for the alternative route to the American Dream.
Written by Oliver Stone and directed by Brian DePalma, this is the more famous version of the 1932 remake of the story of Cuban immigrant turned American gangster Antonio Montana. Other notable actors include Steven Bauer as Tony’s sidekick “Manolo”, Michelle Pfeiffer as Tony’s stolen girlfriend “Elvira Hancock” and Angel Salazar as his trusted companion “Chi Chi”
Scarface has always played an integral part in the culture of the Hip Hop community and fans of the music. Hip Hop, which was created in the war-torn South Bronx, can easily relate to a story of an immigrant who rose from rags to riches; a dream that only some who escaped through sports or the streets, could ever achieve. The music and culture of Hip Hop expanded those options.
As recent as the new millennium, rappers such as Nas have referenced the movie in relation to his feud with Hip Hop mogul Jay-Z, but as far back as the late 80s, there was an up and coming emcee out of Texas named Brad Jordan aka “Scarface.
Thanks to Brian DePalma, Oliver Stone and Al Pacino for giving the public such an unexpected piece of Hip Hop history!