Arts

High Fidelity Review: Czarface Meets Ghostface

We are Cameron Freeman and Quinn Robinson, and we listen to a lot of music. This column is here to share only the truth about which albums and EPs are worth your time. Each week, we pick one that’s caught our eye—regardless of genre or popularity—and run through our thoughts.

CZARFACE, the hip-hop supergroup comprised of producer 7L, rapper MC Esoteric, and former Wu-Tang Clan member Inspectah Deck, returns with the album “Czarface Meets Ghostface” (CMG), a punchy and energetic collaboration with another former Wu-Tang associate in Ghostface Killah. The album exists in the same vein as CZARFACE’s past projects, which consistently take inspiration from Saturday morning cartoons, WWE, and most of all, comic books. From the album cover to song titles like “Masked Superstars” and “Super Soldier Serum,” it is apparent from the first track that CZARFACE and Ghostface Killah reference comic books in their album.

7L interpolates samples lifted from various television shows, wrestling monologues, and old film clips, which peek their head out around each rapid-fire verse. Underneath the sampling, classic boom-bap production reigns supreme. The heavy, grooving bass, shown best on “Czarrcade ’87”, anxiety-inducing highs like those carried throughout standout track “Iron Claw”, and slow, methodical drum patterns provide a sense of dread, energy, and gritty realism.

The album is not without drawbacks, however. Ghostface Killah’s addition, while welcome on some tracks, is lacking in others: lines like “I’m low key like a government official / Deep under the surface / Like a piece of bone gristle” on “Super Soldier Serum” leave the listener wanting more consistent wordplay across all verses.

On the whole, though, Ghostface Killah’s smattering of weak verses are overpowered by consistent charisma, cohesion, and a unique, lighthearted take on boom-bap rap that forms the basis of CZARFACE’s identity as a group. One can only guess at what collaboration will be next for the group, as a similarly focused and punchy product is sure to be next in their artistic trajectory.

Score: 7/10

Feb 23, 2019