Tag Archives: Esoteric

CZARFACE (7L & ESOTERIC & INSPECTAH DECK): The Great (Czar Guitar) (2015)

The Great Czar Guitar CzarfaceSlipstreaming the Every Hero Needs A Villain LP comes this new video from Czarface a.k.a. Boston underground legends 7L & Esoteric and key Wu-Tang playa Inspectah Deck (or ‘Rappers assemble’ as I like to think of them) for The Great (Czar Guitar). By the end of it, Esoteric has been torn from a game of action figures with his son, kidnapped, shoved in the back of a van

CZARFACE (Inspectah Deck + 7L & Esoteric): Every Hero Needs A Villain (2015) + Czarface spoof ‘Infomercial’

Every Hero Needs A Villain CzarfaceRating: ★★★★★ Every underground needs its heroes and for the surprisingly resilient, comic-book-obsessed, back-pack, boom-bap underground of 2015 that means…Czarface! Yes, it’s the second full-length team-up between nineties Boston underground survivors 7L & Esoteric and Inspectah Deck of hip-hop colossii

CZARFACE: Deadly Class feat. MEYHEM LAUREN (2015) + Video

Deadly Class Czarface Meyhem LaurenInspectah Deck, 7L & Esoteric a.k.a. Czarface (don’t call them ‘Scarface’) return with the second LP Every Hero Needs A Villain this summer. In the meantime here’s Deadly Class, the first single off the album featuring Meyhem Lauren and plenty of “murderous wordplay.” Well – their words do, “slay” apparently. Expect a bludgeon-like 90s

INSPECTAH DECK, 7L & ESOTERIC: Czarface (2013)

It’s the return of comic-book/ gangster film-inspired backpack rap everybody! Thrill to the boom, gasp at the bap as swathes of fanboys come out of retirement and shake the moths from their Carhartts and Eastpaks. Czarface finds core Wu-Tang member Inspectah Deck team up with a pair of the Boston underground’s finest – 7L & Esoteric – for a fourteen track album-length

CZARFACE: Air ‘Em Out (2013) video + action figure

In which three middle-aged men (who should know better) indulge their Goodfellas/ Pulp Fiction fantasies. The video for album track Air ‘Em Out off the Czarface project finds Inspectah Deck as some sort of Marsellus Wallace/ Henry Hill pastiche with 7L and Esoteric as his white trash lackeys. Deck spends a lot of time initially gesticulating with a spaghetti-loaded fork – resulting in tomato sauce

CZARFACE: Inspectah Deck, 7L & Esoteric (2012) Teaser video

“Don’t call me Scarface!” “Er – why not?” “Because my name is Czarface.” Well, that clears that up then. It doesn’t? Alright then – this is the Inspectah Deck (of Wu-Tang fame)/ 7L & Esoteric (of 7L & Esoteric fame) album project hook-up that was first announced ten months ago, although no release date existed then. Now, one does – but you’ll still have to wait

WILL C: Eli’s Prism (2012)

It’s a safe bet that if you dug the Boston underground hip-hop lot who came through in the late nineties/ early 2000s – (I’m thinking – 7L & Esoteric, Edan, Mr Lif, Dagha), you’ll dig Boston MC/ producer Will C – even if he is now based in Colorado. In fact, if you enjoyed any underground hip-hop of the late nineties and the early 2000s – it’s a pretty safe bet you’ll dig Will C’s fourth full

CZARFACE: Inspectah Deck teams up with 7L & Esoteric for new LP (2012)

The short version of this is that Wu-Tang member Inspectah Deck is teaming up with veteran Boston underground hip-hop duo 7L & Esoteric for an LP – Czarface – sometime soon. Guest appearances come from Action Bronson, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Roc Marciano and Large Professor. It also seems that DJ Premier has been drafted in to do extra beats. According to Esoteric

ESOTERIC: Saving Seamus Ryan – 2009 – Album review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Esoteric interrupted the progressively dull first part of his career with partner 7L (which even they were getting bored of) to drop A New Dope in 2006 upon which he promised, “Saving Seamus Ryan coming soon.” That LP really was a breath of fresh air and (even if you don’t like Esotoeric’s nasal rapping style) you had to admit that its concoction of fresh beats and samples influenced by everything from new wave to drum n bass offered a fresh ladder out of the late-nineties rut into which they had fallen and which only the most hardcore Eastpak-wearing nerd could love. It was a triumph that Eso followed up by virtually diving into an early 2000s backpacker rut, throwing out dull solo LPs like luggage from a sinking ship with nary a sign of the long-awaited …Seamus Ryan and all the while failing to cash-in on the success of A New Dope by dint of not actually doing anything as good.
Anyway, Saving Seamus Ryan is finally here and – er – it’s a concept album which kind of made me think that I was more likely to need saving than Ryan. The central conceit is the story being told which, as far as I can make out, is partly relayed through the medium of the album itself and in full in the 52-page book that accompanies the official release. Um – yeah – whatever – but is it dope?
The answer both lyrically and beatswise is, ‘Quite often – yes.” On this the Boston MC/ Producer often uses beats that are both good, and which take a lead from A New Dope although he still also makes occasional use of some plodding boom-bap – it’s the ‘plod’ that’s the issue not the boom-bap. The (ironically) dope-beatless I Need A Dope Beat exemplifies this plod though perversely it has the LP’s best lyrics, among them, “But how ironic is my empty wallet?…To get it back I’d earn a police record so convincing you’d think Sting’s on it,” and later, “I was so weak/ Thinking all…[you]…need in this game are some dope beats.” I beg to differ. I reckon it gets you quite a long way and it’s something he ought to remember as it meant I overlooked the fact that he made me listen to sickly rhymes about a dog on The King Is Dog precisely because it has one of the dopest beats on the LP, not to mention one of the best musical hooks. The K-Flay-featuring Modern Love In Boston and My Audition genuinely have real bounce and snares so crisp they’d make fresh prawn crackers look doughy. It’s a shame there are moments like Studio Time/ Goodbye which sounds so 1999 and actually kicks off the LP.

I guess I should mention the skits which help carry the narrative along and redeploy snatches of film dialogue (mostly plundered from Harrison Ford vehicles) and rap-acapellas (mostly plundered from Gang Starr’s Guru) in, I think it’s fair to term, an amusing manner – even if Esoteric starts to sound alarmingly like Ray Romano by the end.
In short, some tight rhymes and some dope beats – though not always at the same time and, although it kind of makes me shiver, a ‘concept’ that kind of works. Not quite a new New Dope Pt II but the closest you’re going to get anytime soon. One last thought though – what is up with that title? Why would you want to call your LP something that either makes people think of Steven Spielberg and the beaches of Normandy or a porn film where someone called Ryan finds his ‘privates’ getting a shaving? Or what is worse (since both ideas occur simultaneously) Steven Spielberg getting his ‘privates’ shaved on the beaches of Normandy…

Listen to Esoteric – Saving Seamus Ryan

7L & Eso – Myspace

WILL C: Evil In The Mirror – 2009 – Album review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Anyone ever seen Will C and Edan in the same room together? Alright, they’re not really the same person – Edan has earlobes and Will C doesn’t, but that’s a whole other story. In truth though, there are a number of significant similarities. Both ‘students’ of hip-hop, well-versed in its history, both part of the Boston hip-hop scene, both total sample-magpies gathering shiny nuggets from film and TV snippets plus pretty much any genre of music under the sun and – um – they’ve both got dark hair. And it has to be said that, in the absence of anything like an LP from Edan recently, you might just want to check this out though you’ll find the production on Evil In The Mirror somewhat cleaner than that of Mr Portnoy.
The album kicks off with a silence long enough that you’re starting to check it’s actually playing when the faint sound of footsteps echoes down a long corridor. The ensuing knock on a door, and ringing phone is replaced with a great lumbering breakbeat, an eastern sounding cello sample and finally Will C’s distinctive ‘got-a-cold’ staccato flows. This first track, functions as a declaration of C.’s intent to, “Create my best, my first, last, my every/…I’m perplexing many,” before ambiguously describing his debut as a, “Frog Among Queens,” also the title of the track. Clearly an American with a sense of irony this segues straight into It Ain’t The 80s which both is and isn’t true. No it ain’t the 80s but actually, yes, there are quite a lot of 80s influences at work on this LP. Most noticeably this is the case on the Esoteric-featuring Synthetic Genetics, the uptempo ‘B-side’ to recent single Losers – a pneumatic effort that occupies the territory where Run DMC’s Sucker MCs meets 7L & Esoteric’s A New Dope. It’s a place also inhabited by subsequent electro-instrumental interlude Zodiac Extension which loops the words, “Break This Shit Up,” as C. knowingly acknowledges the album’s mid-point. Things take a funkier turn with Trainspotting’s musings about going to work, composing rhymes and reflecting on man’s relationships with transport in general and Boston’s subway in particular. Nice use of a clavinet too that at least recalls Superstition even if it isn’t from it.
It does take a few listens to tune in to the often quite ‘wordy’ rhymes on this, partly because of our Mr C’s machine-gun delivery but also partly because he favours having the vocals quite low in the mix. Is that a fault? Not from here especially – but I guess it might depend on where you’re standing. Also if Evil In The Mirror is lyrically dense, so too is it musically. If I were being a really picky bastard, perhaps a few more spaces in sound wouldn’t have gone amiss because from the word go, there’s little let-up until the dope flow of recent single Losers and the zen reflection (no pun intended) of the title track at the end of the LP. That said be under no illusions – this is an impressive debut. If you like the sample collages of Edan, Shadow, RJD2 and leftfield lyricists you’re sorted for the summer.
Out now on Brick US

Will C. – Myspace