CZARFACE – Hazmat Rap (Video)

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This is a guilty admission: back in 2001, the first time I made a cell-phone ringtone, it was to 7L & Esoteric’s “Speaking Real Words” single, which featured Inspectah Deck. To me, in addition to being a great song, the Landspeed Records single was a monumental gap-bridger between underground and mainstream. After all, The Rebel I.N.S. was appearing in big budget Wu-Tang Clan singles and made “Show & Prove,” one of my favorite joints in its day. 7L & Esoteric were rising stars within Boston’s underground hip-hop community, which at the time, seemed off the radar of guys who were signing seven-figure deals and touring the world.

You could not have told me that 12 years later, CZARFACE would happen. Moreover, this self-titled project of the three artists is really, really, good. The Brick Records release has 7L’s dusted production, lyrical exercises from Eso, and Deck sounds as good as he has since The W. With news of a sequel bubbling, this is absolutely one of the five must-buy hip-hop albums so far this year. Haven’t heard it? “Hazmat Rap” is everything great about this joint in one place. Related: Ghostface Killah Montreality Interview (Video) + CZARFACE (Inspectah Deck, 7L & Esoteric) – Savage Attack ft Ghostface Killah (Audio)