A characteristically strong album from the undisputed godfather of the Houston rap scene, Emeritus is the third straight album on which Scarface has announced his intentions to retire from hip-hop. But unlike the press-baiting retirement threats of other famous MCs, Scarface’s world-weary proclamations seem genuine, for even if Emeritus is not his final work, the stately edifice that is Scarface’s catalogue precludes any challenges to his dominance. Like 2007’s Made, Emeritus is an almost unremittingly bleak album, one that displays Scarface’s usual penchant for intensely critical personal analyses as well as his dissatisfaction with the world at large. Though Made found Scarface in top form as an MC it was occasionally weighed down by leaden production. This problem has been for the most part remedied on Emeritus, particularly on the pummeling title track, which sees Scarface boasting of his professional prowess over a thrillingly pugnacious funk loop.

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