MF DOOM’s presence in the late 90’s amidst what some considered to be a vacuum of mundanity was welcome; lesser-emcess were getting their asses handed to them by something they couldn’t get their head around. So when an enigmatic comic-book-fashioned identity called CZARFACE arrived in 2013 with a focus on “annihilating the hip-hop media darlings the mainstream caters too”, people got excited since the metal fellow was busy tagging London and schooling folks on brain geometry. CZARFACE seemed like a name that could shake things up in the present. But it was perhaps a misguided expectation from listeners on CZARFACE’s intentions to think that a new MF DOOM was here. The self-titled debut did it’s own thing and was a solid listen in it’s own right, if conceptually loose.
The sequel is largely more of the same, but that’s not a bad thing at all. Production by 7L is tough; guitars sounding like un-oiled buzz saws chase breakbeats across the track, while Esoteric and Inspectah Deck rhyme adamantium-grade couplets and punchlines. A level of nerdery is inherent with references to recent superhero cinema “sit your ass down like a Marvel end credit” (a habit I got so accustomed to that I was hanging around at the end of every film just in case Nick Fury would recruit people into SHIELD), and an interlude featuring kids tackling the neck-beardiest debate in Star Wars; who shot first?
The guest features are excellent selections and genuine highlights; two things that guest spots ought to be but rarely are. Meth (okay his verse kinda comes and goes), Large Pro, RA, Juju, GZA and Meyhem Lauren would be a Sinister Six alone before DOOM himself turns up who, of course being a rapper that literally comes right out of a comic book (RIP Jim Kelly), is completely at home on this kind of record. Part of me thought that everyone should’ve rocked a unique moniker like those other Czars from Monsta Island but that would’ve taken the record into more conceptual waters than it seems to want to go in. That being said, this review is purely on the music, not the 70-page comic that comes bundled which no doubt adds new layers to CZARFACE as a character and an album.