Al Pacino is a legend, no question about it. Regarded as one of the best actors of his generation, Pacino has starred in the best movies of all time with the likes of The Godfather, Scarface, and Heat to name but three.
One of these, Scarface, was embraced by rappers and hip-hop fans according to the actor, and he’s given his explanation as to why. Speaking with The Independent, he said, “I see what Brian De Palma was talking about when we made it. It was the crazy eighties, the decade of avarice, greed and introducing that into the world; greed is good…”
The actor continued, “I thought it was a very socio-political statement, which is why rappers took to it. Hip-hop people were so buoyed up on Scarface. I know a lot of people who don’t deal drugs who are inspired by it. It’s about a kind of ingenuity, suddenly coming from the bottom and rising, which is why the original was so inspiring for me. There is something else too that seems to trigger off a certain thing, and that is this sense of his ideals as an outsider.”
There’s a lot to unpack in Pacino’s comments, in which he links Scarface to rappers and hip-hop music on a thematic level, arguing that both revolve around excess and the idea of an underdog rising up. Certainly, hip-hop fans will have their own opinions, but either way: it’s a good reminder to re-watch Scarface.
For more on cinema’s classics, check out our guide to the best Steven Spielberg movies.