Record Label: Brick Records
Rap clique legends team up for a fiery re visitation of comic book fantasy and '90s vibes
If any group can claim to be the rightful successors to the Wu Tang Clan's legacy of violent imagery and distinct production it's probably Vinnie Paz's significantly underground but excellent collective Army of the Pharoahs. This is something that hasn't slipped the attention of the now legendary Wu stalwart Inspectah Deck, a man whose musical pulse has always boasted well- brushed modernity. "Czarface", his first collaborative project with cult heroes Esoteric and producer 7L (a subordinate component of AOTP) is a mostly shining example of a re- visitation to Deck's old school ways, interwoven with hard- hitting production, lightning speed flows and cartoony, violent fun.
"Air 'Em Out" begins proceedings as urgent and aggressive as any moment here. "This is ultraviolence" fires Esoteric, a man who proves his invaluable skill as an MC all over this project. "Cement 3's" follows and sees a subtle shuffle and simplistic but chilling piano melody provide a perfect backdrop for Deck & Esoteric's barn- storming deliveries. "Marvel Team- Up" sees 7L bring jarring but soft guitar chords into the mix whilst the two MCs' bloodcurdling words bounce off each other in a show of great interplay.
The shtick is a tried and tested formula that is punishing, but like much of Wu's output (as well as its' members' solo projects) it has a tendency to wear thin. But "Czarface" sees two deservedly lauded MCs having huge amounts of fun, and bringing large doses of their skill along with them.
Key Tracks: Cement 3's, It's Raw, Dead Zone
For fans of: Ghostface Killah, Army of the Pharoahs