"Every Hero Needs A Villain" is the sophomore release from legendary Wu-Tang emcee Inspectah Deck and veteran rap duo 7L and Esoteric. The album features guest appearances from Method Man, GZA, Large Professor, Juju (of The Beatnuts), MF Doom, Meyhem Lauren and R.A. The Rugged Man and is fully produced by 7L and Spada4. It is set to be released on June 16, 2015 via Brick Records and Fly Casual Creative. Peep the review below.
1) Don The Armor - Skit
2) Czartacus - The first song on the album finds Inspectah Deck and Esoteric doing their thing over a hard-hitting beat centered around some strings and a distorted electric guitar loop. I must admit that I'm usually not a fan of hip-hop beats that have a rock feel to them, but this shit is dope and both Rebel INS and Esoteric sound great over it. Very nice way to start off the album. Hopefully the rest is just as good. - 4/5
3) Lumber Jack Match - This song features another instrumental built up around an electric guitar loop, but this time the energy level is higher (though the beat is less hard-hitting) than the previous song. I'm really feelin' the production though and both Esoteric and Deck rip it. Dope shit.- 4.25/5
4) Nightcrawler (featuring Method Man) - Inspectah Deck and Esoteric link up with the Ticallion Stallion over a funky chopped up sample and boom-bap drums that have me nodding my head like crazy. The beat is sick and the rhymes are as well, with Method Man stealing the show with his humorous punchlines and smooth ass flow. I'm lovin' this one. - 5/5
5) World Premier (featuring Large Professor) - Just when I think that I've found the albums best track the next song ends up sounding just as good or better. Such is the case here, with hip-hop legend Large Professor coming through and ripping the first verse while Eso and Deck follow him up and do the same. The lyrics are nice and the darkly energetic beat just might be my favorite so far. This one is a banger. - 5/5
6) The Great (Czar Guitar) - This song finds 7L and Spada4 reverting back to the distorted electric guitars that were featured on the first two tracks of the album and the end result is just as good. The beat bangs and the braggadocios rhymes from both emcees are in full effect. - 4/5
7) Red Alert - Hmmm....now this is a little different. The production on this cut is kind of odd, with some quirky keyboards/synths and an overall slower tempo that makes the song sound unique on the album so far. As for the rhymes, the first verse, by Esoteric, flows a little awkwardly, but Deck more than makes up for it with his appearance. Anyways, I'm not feelin' this song quite as much as the others, but I do have a soft spot for the Ol Dirty Bastard/RZA "red alert, red alert" sample on the chorus as well as the "who shot first" conversation at the end of the song. - 3.5/5
8) Junkyard Dogs (featuring Juju of The Beatnuts) - Esoteric and Rebel INS hook up with Beatnuts producer/emcee Juju over a wacky chopped up guitar sample that changes up a few times throughout the course of the song. The beat is pretty good and the rhymes are as well, with all three emcees spitting some more punchline heavy braggadocios bars and flowing nicely over the instrumental. - 3.75/5
9) Sgt. Slaughter - The production on this cut features what sounds like a distorted vocal sample and fuzz guitars over militant drums that keep in tune with the songs title. The beat is real dope and the rhymes from Inspectah Deck and Esoteric are just as strong, with both emcees keeping with the comic book feel of the rest of the project. I'm actually really feelin' Eso's flow on here as well. Dope shit. - 4/5
10) When Gods Go Mad (featuring GZA) - I was pleasantly surprised a few months ago to see that this album was going to feature a rare GZA appearance and ever since then I have been looking forward to hearing how this song was going to turn out. Luckily, the shit bangs. The beat is dark as hell (and changes up a few times during each verse) and Deck, Eso and The Genius all rip it. This one is fire. - 5/5
11) Ka-Bang! (featuring MF Doom) - Speaking of rare guest appearances, this song finds the ever reclusive MF Doom spitting his ass off for the first verse with Rebel INS and Esoteric following up and doing the same. You know the rhymes are going to be dope and they definitely are. On the production side of things, the beat starts out pretty minimalistic but adds and changes up layers as the song goes on. Overall, another really strong track. - 4.5/5
12) Deadly Class (featuring Meyhem Lauren) - I believe this song was the first official single released in promotion of the album and it's real nice. Like many of the other beats on the album, the 7L and Spada4 production on this song has a strong comic book vibe to it and features some guitars, horns and boom-bap drums. Lyrically the song is as dope as the beat, with Queens rapper Meyhem Lauren setting things off first and then Deck and Eso coming in and shutting shit down afterwards. - 4.25/5
13) Escape From Czarkham Asylum - Well damn. This song is absolutely crazy and finds Esoteric and Rollie Fingers trading off verses for almost 8 minutes over a variety of instrumentals. The beat changes up a bunch of times (every one of them being dope) and both emcees kill it with the rhymes. There is so much going on with this cut that I don't know what to say about it besides check it out. - 5/5
14) Sinister - Man this album just doesn't let up. The beat on this song is just as dark as the past few and Deck and Esoteric sound great over it. Very nice. - 4/5
15) Good Villains Go Last (featuring R.A. The Rugged Man) - The final song on the album features rap veteran R.A. The Rugged Man stealing the show over an organ and guitar based instrumental from 7L and Spada4. Rebel INS and Eso-pterodactyl rip the beat as well, but I think R.A. just bodied it with his verse. Then again, I got a good laugh out of Esoteric's verse when he raps
"Look at you and look at meAnyways, very dope way to close out the project. - 4.5/5
You look like a shook MC
The only time you load the clips is when you put in Pusha T"
I'm going to rate the album
4.5 / 5
because it bangs the whole way through. The beats from 7L and Spada4 are crazy, with many having a psychedelic rock vibe to them that meshes nicely with the comic book theme of the album. Don't get me wrong though, these beats are definitely hip-hop. Sure a good number of the instrumentals are centered around guitar loops, but the boom-bap drums that the samples are layered over will have your head nodding the whole time. Not to be out-shined by the production, both Inspectah Deck and Esoteric bring their A-Games lyrically to the album and rip every beat. There is not a single weak verse on the entire project and both Rebel INS and Eso expand upon the amazing chemistry that the two emcees had on the first "Czarface" album. Deck always has been the better rapper of the two based off of his natural talent alone, but Esoteric really impressed me on here and kept up with Deck on every song. Both his lyrics and flow have improved greatly since the days of "Speaking Real Words" in my opinion. Anyways, I'm surprised that I'm actually feelin' this album even more than the first "Czarface" album since that is one of my most played projects of the past few years. Make sure you cop the album when it drops on June 16th.