Czarface x Ghostface Killah, “Czarface Meets Ghostface”

Czarface x Ghostface Killah
Czarface Meets Ghostface
SILVER AGE
7/10

Czarface, a hip-hop group comprised of Esoteric, 7L, and Wu-Tang Clan’s Inspectah Deck, is back with a sequel to last year’s album-comic hybrid Czarface Meets Metal Face, featuring MF DOOM. This time, Czarface is facing off with Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah in Czarface Meets Ghostface, a twelve-track saga loaded with menacing beats and ’90-style boom-bap flows guaranteed to satisfy nostalgic hip-hop heads yearning for the genre’s golden era.

The project begins with the slow-paced “Back at Ringside,” creeping listeners into battle. A Randy Savage impersonator introduces the opponents—Czarface and Ghostface Killah, a.k.a. Iron Man—while offering foreshadowing advice: “They say every hero needs a villain, and I’m that guy, so let me give you a little piece of advice, Czarface, don’t hunt what you can’t kill.”

The best cut on the album is “Iron Claw,” bar none; the production is so funky, you won’t even notice you’re sporting an over-exaggerated stank face as you listen. A simple bass riff thumps throughout the track, while soul singer Kendra Morris pops up in the refrain to warn, “Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t push me.” Like every rap battle worth its salt, the album boasts lots of witty and aggressive one-liners, including: “You acting all big now / but you ain’t Christopher Wallace” on “Iron Claw”; “You need a click, like Buzzfeed” on “Powers and Stuff”; and “SoundCloud rappers all can take your last deep breath” on “Listen to the Color.” 

Admittedly, Czarface Meets Ghostface doesn’t come close to representing a magnum opus for either one of the superheroes. Though the album’s production is solid, most of the tracks possess the same medium-paced, sinister sound, making it hard to pick more than one or two standouts. That’s not to say the project isn’t enjoyable: All of these artists have had long careers and can churn out banter and off-kilter beats with little effort, which they prove here.

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