With the dissolution of the Geto Boys far behind him, Scarface follows the epic overreaching of The World Is Yours with The Diary, a refreshingly modest album with a few really strong moments and little filler. Never short on ideas, Scarface had nonetheless gone a little too far with the 70-minute The World Is Yours. There was plenty of brilliance there, including the stunning "Now I Feel Ya," but you had to do some sifting to find it. That's less the case with the 43-minute Diary, which doesn't overextend its ambitions. Scarface here once again offers a laid-back gangsta ballad, "I Seen a Man Die," that's as thoughtful and somber as the style gets and also perhaps the album highlight. Elsewhere, he teams up with fellow gangsta veteran Ice Cube on "Hand of the Dead Body" and reprises his best-known song, "Mind Playin' Tricks 94." Not counting the interludes, there's only ten songs here, and they're nearly all produced by the team of N.O. Joe and Mike Dean. It may make the album a short listen, yet it also makes The Diary one of Scarface's most solid efforts, one where you rarely, if ever, feel inclined to skip a song. And that's something you can't say about the work of most rappers, particularly ones as creative as Scarface.
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
feat: Ice Cube