Since 2010 and the release of their eponymous debut album under the name of Czarface in company of Inspectah Deck (Wu-Tang Clan), 7L & Esoteric have put aside all of their activity to focus their effort on this 70’s Marvel Comic influenced concept band. Musically, the trio never went back this far to find their influence but instead focused their attention on the 90’s sound of Backpack when Boom Bap beats met nerdy lyricism.
You can go back as far as the origin of Hip Hop culture to find traces of the influence of Nerd culture, costumed heroes, action movies. Rap pseudonyms and taggers name were the mask young artists were using to disguise their identity to the authorities and their enemies. Later, MF DOOM pushed the concept even further with the use of an origin story to divert the attention aside from their real identity and biography. With Czarface, none of the members of the trio are trying to hide who they are but rather create a vivid universe to equal the craziness of the comics they take their influences from.
« The flow call it Jon Snow — King of the North. I bust Tai chi moves when I’m bringing it forth » raps Inspectah Deck on Czar wars, bridging a gap George R. Martin never imagined to cross but that fans probably did. Later, on Dare is a Darkseid, Esoteric concludes his verse by spitting « On the mic I’m wise like Gandalf the Grey » in an unexpected twist Rap fans and Nerdy chess club kids never expected. A fistful of peril lines up the bangers in thirty minutes with more references to pop culture than in your local Forbidden planet. But, rather than sound forced, each rapper and their guest rhymes with the convention of hardcore fans, naming a song after revered comic book artist Jim Steranko on Steranko or reference the current run of Black Panther on Talk that talk with immortal lines such as:
« Kamikaze quotes I write like Ta-Nehisi Coates
Smooth like Muhammad Ali floats, get you on the ropes
This is jungle action, T’Challa on you folks
Salvador Dali in the zone with the smokes
My cranium, negative vibes of vibranium aplenty
What kind of Wakanda are you staying in or living in »
A fistful of peril does not bring much change to the Czarface table but is another fantastic collection of songs Nerd and Rap fans can unite under to cross their arms, nod their head and rhyme along to without feeling awkward around each other. A true proof of unity among cultures.