Earlier this week, we published a post about Ghostface Killah featuring a video and relating to his new email list promising that new music was on the way. In it, I referenced how his long-awaited collaboration with legendary underground rapper/producer, MF DOOM needs to finally drop, because… well… it’s long-awaited. Now it seems like Ghostdini‘s fellow WU Tang Clan cohort, Inspectah Deck, will, most likely, beat him to the punch with the announcement of a new CZARFACE x MF DOOM project. Their album, Czarface Meets Metalface is slated for a March 30th release date.
Early in his career, MF DOOM (Daniel Dumile), was known by Zev Love X, a founding member of the Long Beach, NY trio, KMD. After having their now-classic Black Bastards album shelved by the label, and his brother/group member, Dingilizwe (aka DJ Subroc) struck and killed by a vehicle on the Long Island Expressway in 1993, Dumille effectively vanished from the public eye for a number of years. When he returned with his groundbreaking solo debut, Operation: Doomsday [1999, Fondle ‘Em records], it featured a depiction of Fantastic 4 arch-nemesis, Dr Doom rocking a mic on the cover. As for his own appearance, the reborn emcee was now sporting a modified prop helmet from the film Gladiator. His adoption of a disguise was in part because he felt that people had gradually become too focused on the appearance of rappers, over the years, rather than prioritizing skill. Lyrically, the rapper was also slipping in nods to the comic book villain that appeared in the album art, not unlike the way that Ghostface was using Marvel, Tony Starks and Ironman samples on his own debut, Ironman. Dumille has embraced the supervillain persona in his work in various ways, and the Dr Victor Von Doom character specifically, even releasing albums under the pseudonym of Viktor Vaughn, such as the brilliant 2003 LP, Vaudeville Villain.
As for Czarface, they are one of the most refreshing hip hop acts to appear in recent years, with the merger of Boston underground mainstays, DJ 7L & Esoteric with one of Wu Tang‘s most slept on lyricists, Inspectah Deck, proving an incredibly potent combination. And while the idea of incorporating comic book elements into hip hop music might be starting to seem like old hat these days, it’s something that the members have been working with since the beginning. The first real attention that 7L & Esoteric ever generated came in 1996, when, still operating under the collective moniker of God Complex, they released the track “Secret Wars,” which was overflowing with (primarily Marvel-based) comic book references. The duo would team up with Inspectah Deck for the first time only 3 years later when INS appeared on the title track of their debut EP, Speaking Real Words. the same year that Image Comics would actually introduce a Wu Tang title. Deck would join them again on 2010‘s “12th Chamber” before the trio resurfaced officially as Czarface with their eponymous debut in 2013.
The following excerpt is taken from a previous post we published about, First Weapon Drawn, the read along comic/record, that Czarface put out for last year’s record store day.
Since their inception, the project has gone in as hard with the comic book theme as anybody. Not only did the deluxe-CD format of their critically acclaimed 2015 followup, Every Hero Needs A Villain, include a 70+ page hardbound booklet with full original comic, Eso actually recruited the artist, Sucklord to cast a fully-poseable limited edition Czarface action figure, based on the character designs created by Mishka NYC‘s L’Amour Supreme. The group was even tapped by Marvel to assemble a new track for episode 5 of their Black Panther web series, with the recording sessions both operating as inspiration for Fistful Of Peril and yielding some of the material that would wind up appearing on the final album.
Bringing the Czarface character together with that of DOOM, clearly makes perfect sense, especially since they are both represented by anti-heroes with skulls adorned in metal. In fact, DOOM actually appeared on the Every Hero Needs A Villain single, Ka-Bang!, which would later be released as a picture disc. Collaborative albums are nothing new for MF DOOM, either, with his most well-known project being with super-producer Madlib, as Madvillain, a name under which they released the critically acclaimed Madvillainy album in 2004. After that came projects like Danger Doom (with DJ Danger Mouse), JJ Doom (with producer/emcee, Jneiro Jarel), and NehruvianDOOM (with Bishop Nehru). MF DOOM can be somewhat of an elusive character, notorious for sending other people donning his trademark mask to perform shows in his place. He recently teamed up with prolific, underground Buffalo-based rapper, WestsideGunn for the incredibly solid WESTSIDEDOOM project, but that was only a 2-song effort and, while the DOOMStarks stuff is great, we’ve yet to get a full-length out of that, either. That’s one of the most exciting things about Czarface Meets Metalface, the fact that it’s a full album, with “over 14 new tracks,” including features from such artists as Open Mike Eagle and Vinnie Paz of Jedi Mind Tricks. L’Amour Supreme. returns for the cover art.
Czarface Meets Metalface is available for pre-order through Get On Down, right now. Various formats are being offered including cassette, CD, and vinyl. There’s even an option that includes colored vinyl, instrumental versions (CD and vinyl), a T-shirt, and a poster, all exclusive to that bundle.
Check out “Nautical Depth,” the first track from the upcoming album, below.