Scarface – Cinema for the Culture


One of the most rapped about movies of all time is Scarface. This 1983 crime classic stars Al Pacino as Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee that becomes a major drug kingpin in Miami. Generations of rappers have taken content from the film, directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone, making it a critical part of the rap cinema canon.

Housten rapper Scarface sampled the movie on his albums several times, as did Raekwon on OBFCL and Jay-Z on Reasonable Doubt. Chief Keef aka “Sosa” borrowed his nickname from a character in the movie.

Biggie used, “Never get high on your own supply…” one of the lines from the movie, on his song “Ten Crack Commandments.” Nas based the video for his single, “The world is Yours” on Scarface. Nicki Minaj paraphrased the “Bad Guy” scene in her single “Chun Li.” Future’s “Tony Montana” speaks for itself.

Other renowned artists have used lyrical references to the movie that hit home for anybody that’s seen it. Here are a few more examples.

“I’m like Scarface sniffin’ cocaine
Holdin’ an M16, see, with the pen I’m extreme…”

Nas, “NY State of Mind”

“Bought a crib like Scarface’s
“This is my world”

Wiz Khalifa, “Taylor Gang”

“They gon’ go Tony Montana and cop them some Shaq at the free throws”

Drake, from Meek Mill’s “R.I.C.O.”