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CZARFACE - Wu-Tang founding MC Inspectah Deck and veteran duo 7L & Esoteric's sophomore album Every Hero Needs A Villain was originally released in 2015 on Brick Records, and featured MF Doom, Method Man, GZA, R.A The Rugged Man, JuJu (The Beatnuts), Large Professor and Meyhem Lauren.
In 2013, the trio appeared relatively unassumingly with their self-titled debut, which w included guests ranging from Ghostface Killah and Cappadonna to Vinnie Paz, Action Bronson and Roc Marciano. The soon-to-be acclaimed group found out quickly that there was a groundswell of hip-hop fanatics thirsting for the lunch-pail, lyrics-above-all-else rap they fell in love with in the 90s.
This 2nd time around the group stepped up their game. "We knew how we felt about the last album, but weren't sure how it would be received by listeners", explains MC Esoteric. "But people really responded to it, even more than we had hoped. That gave us the confidence to really spread our wings and let loose on this one. The chemistry is even tighter this time around. We know exactly what lanes we are cruising in and what weight class we are fighting in for Round 2."
Inspectah Deck adds, "Czarface is like the Danger Room for the X-Men, I can use all my weapons on there. When I'm in Wu-Tang, I have to come a certain way because we have a certain style of fan, when Im here doing the Czarface projects, it allows me to actually be an MC, it allows me to actually just spit...I love that. I love when i can just spit freely and just be an MC."
The fighting analogy – whether drawn from pugilism or 80s wrestling, both which figure into Every Hero Needs A Villain – is an apt one, considering the unrelenting lyrical attacks that Deck and Esoteric unleash on track after track, each trying to one-up the previous verse. Best of all, it is friendly camaraderie, based around a loose theme of renegade mutant MC talents running wild. DJ 7L explains, "All three of us is influenced by comics, sci-fi movies, TV, wrestling. Czarface encompasses all of that, and it helps with the visuals as well."
On the production side, 7L and Spada4 show yet again – as with the groups debut and subsequent albums – to be a stellar team, as they provide hard, funky and alternatingly ominous backdrops for the assembled MCs to use as lyrical luge paths.
A1. DON THE ARMOR
A3. LUMBERJACK MATCH
A4. NIGHTCRAWLER (feat. METHOD MAN)
A5. WORLD PREMIER (feat. LARGE PROFESSOR)
B1. THE GREAT (CZAR GUITAR)
B2. RED ALERT
B3. JUNKYARD DOGS (feat. JUJU of THE BEATNUTS)
B4. SGT. SLAUGHTER
C1. WHEN GODS GO MAD (feat. GZA)
C2. KA-BANG! (feat. MF DOOM)
C3. DEADLY CLASS (feat. MEYHEM LAUREN)
D1. ESCAPE FROM CZARKHAM ASYLUM
D3. GOOD VILLAINS GO LAST (feat. RA THE RUGGED MAN)