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Album Review: Super What? by CZARFACE and MF DOOM

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CZARFACE is a hip hop group made up of a few well known artists. The group is made up of the duo 7L & Esoteric as well as Inspectah Deck from Wu-Tang Clan. CZARFACE team up with legendary hip hop legend, MF DOOM, who unfortunately passed away in late 2020. This is the second time they team up together, the first time being Czarface Meets Metal Face in 2018. Now, they release the second collaborative project titled Super What?
 
The first track from the album is The King and Eye. The track opens up a bit different since it's a conversation between them and you can just hear them laughing. After the quick conversation introduction, the beat finally comes in. You have a very playful beat with horns and some bells that carry on throughout the track. Other than that, I'm really digging Esoteric's verse. MF DOOM's verse just focuses on the aspect of him wearing a mask to hide his identity. Just like typical CZARFACE and MF DOOM production, we have some soundclips to close out the track.

Czarwyn's Theory of People Getting Loose opens up with a different type of beat. We have some old school piano which has been used on previous CZARFACE projects. You also have some female vocals in the background which add a whole new layer and feeling to the project. Honestly, the first beat introduced on the track isn't anything special so it has kind of turned me off. The last minute of the track it does change up to something a little more pleasing.

Mando Calrissian is a play on words from a Star Wars character, Lando Calrissian. That also means we have several Star Wars references, especially in the last half of the track. The beat on this track is definitely laid back, but more pleasing to the ears than the previous track. We have some light horn parts to carry the track and adds that 'smooth jazz' type of vibe. Definitely one of my favorites from this latest project.
 
DOOM Unto Others definitely has a very dark and villainous vibe. The track opens up with some drum beats and a group of voices singing "We Came." After that cuts out, DOOM comes in with a deep synth or bass part that just rumbles throughout the track. There's a quick beat change after DOOM's verse, but then it goes back to the deep bass part. Of course the track ends with a promotion, but I can't tell if it's real or not. I visited the website and it said it was restricted in the United States, so I'm thinking that it may not be a real advertisement.

We have another reference in Jason & The Czargonauts, which I can only assume is about Jason and the Argonauts. Based on the beat, we have a very classic drumbeat and I almost mistook the opening for a few other tracks. We also have some electronic beat which gives it a space-like aesthetic. It's also funny how Esoteric talked about how CZARFACE and MF DOOM were pro-mask before the pandemic. I actually had a conversation about this with someone else.

Break in the Action is another track that has a decent backing beat. While it is a lot quieter than some of the previous tracks, the jazz instrumentals from the piano and saxophone are a nice addition and change of scenery for awhile. Even with the simple beat, it seems like all of the people featured on this track just killed it and were at the top of their game. Other than that, there's not too much more to say besides that I wish it was longer.

A Name to the Face is exactly what you may expect if you know anything about CZARFACE. The track opens up asking about who CZARFACE is. The first half basically explains that CZARFACE is a group of 7L, Esoteric, and Inspectah Deck. The second half of the track gets more into the different samples that they usually include towards the end or beginning of a track. They also go into renaming stuff by putting the word 'czar' at the beginning.

This is Canon Now opens up with some deep synth bass. According to the artist, 'canon' has to do with knowledge that has already been explained in comics. They then go into and explain some of the other interactions with superheroes in their own superhero world. Not really seeing anything too exciting from this track. I guess the good thing with this track is that it isn't too long since it's just over two minutes in length.

So Strange opens up with the question, "Why do I wear a mask?" which can have double meaning. MF DOOM is masked, however, it could also do with the current pandemic and why certain people may or may not wear one. Also, since the title of the track is titled So Strange, it seems to talk about MF DOOM and the strangeness of his life when he was younger. Esoteric continues off with the prompt of the story after MF DOOM is done with his verse.
 
The final track we have on the album is Young World. This track has another nice, but also chill beat. It has a space-like aesthetic with the wavy, and vibrato voices muffled in the background. I'm a bit disappointed that MF DOOM isn't on this track, but I figured that this was something added towards the end of the track, especially since they talk about how strange of a year 2020 was. However, they want the young to not ruin their lives just because of how crazy this year was.

I was a bit underwhelmed by this project. The project itself was under half an hour in length so I feel like they just wanted to get something out there for MF DOOM fans. I could be wrong, but I just feel like they weren't able to go after the energy they had in the first project. Nonetheless, it had some decent tracks and rapping on here.
Overall Rating: 6/10
Favorite Tracks: Mando Calrissian, Break in the Action, Young World
 
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