“Don’t hunt what you can’t kill” describes a Macho Man Randy Savage impersonator, illustrating a relative sense to the hype of what would become CZARFACE Meets Ghostface. The album is a breath of old-head hip-hop that mixes with the sampling and producing power of The Czar-Keys created by a conglomerate of 7L and Spada4. Even with the nostalgic factor, the clear plastic covering, and the fascinating packaging, CZARFACE and Ghostface Killah just do not create the superhero-magic kids need.
The record feels fairly approachable as an underground hip-hop list that has mostly simplistic boom-bap beats with these chords and overdriven samples that allow the MC’s to ride over the waves of Saturday Morning Cartoon illustrations. The foundation is there for an immaculate rise to greatness with one of Wu-Tang’s heaviest hitters for lyrical ability, production from another prior Wu-Tang artist, and what would be one of the more interesting team-ups in recent music history.
Comic books and vivid art go hand-in-hand, with CZARFACE Meets Ghostface some of the lyrics and production choices do not match as a symbiotic relationship should. Often times, Czarface is the primary rhymer which was similar to their last dual duo record with MF DOOM. There are several tracks on CZARFACE Meets Ghostface where Ghostface is not even present on the track, in most instances, it feels as if the gaps between his verses and CZARFACE’s are just too long.
As CZARFACE is a collection, a hydra of three separate members and Ghostface Killah is just one person, finding that perfect blend and balance can be incredibly difficult. But if four out of the 12 total tracks do not have a Ghostface feature then it just misses the mark. MF DOOM fell under a similar belt, but at least the sound quality and verse style has gone up since the last release. Most of MF DOOM’s verses felt as if they were phoned-in, leaving little to the imagination and honestly coming off as a record that could not stand up to what would be known as the possible standard by either artist.
Here, CZARFACE Meets Ghostface is a more phonetic, better-delivered meal that while it does not fulfill completely, the taste is much sweeter than what was first previewed. As the tracks continue to flow, the production is as if it is stuck back in the past. With the fast-paced world of hip-hop that most are accustom to now, it is going to be difficult for listeners to travel back to a time where bass lines are less aggressive and more of a march. Ultimately the best beat on the entire project is the final track, “(Post Credits Scene)” that has a braggadocious run of strings behind it and a commanding performance on the microphones.
CZARFACE and Ghostface Killah are not going to be enticing under the guise of missed chances and unfortunate production choices. CZARFACE Meets Ghostface just feels predictable and is unfortunately not a record that would have younger fans running to hear. A collaboration between the two is interesting on paper, but the overall execution was just not as capturing as the legacy that the artists’ have on their shoulders.