Walking down the street every morning there used to be a guy that would holler, “Good morning” to me. Without fail, he’d always toss that out to me. After I’d respond with my own “good morning,” he’d ask, “We all have to die someday right?” My initial reaction would always be one where I’d dismiss this guy and just cross the street, that was just in case he thought that day would be mine and decided to end it. As I look back at those old Brooklyn days I start to think to myself, “You know, he’s right of course.” While I take one day at a time I’m not sweatin’ anything or anyone.
Today is the day when we see, we listen to, the collaboration between Czarface x MF DOOM. I don’t think many were expecting a full-length release joining Czarface, Czarface Meets Metalface (Get On Down), which has been Inspectah Deck, Esoteric & 7L, and the metal-faced wordsmith MF DOOM. The self-titled release is what many have come to expect, an album rife with lyricism to spin heads around, unrelenting beats simmering with a heated tenacity, and veteran wrapping their skills around an entire album. I don’t think I could even bore you with details considering after a number of astounding album releases, I’m sure no one could believe Czarface would be able to outdo itself. MF DOOM has always shown consistency in releases and here his skill level, verbal and visual aesthetic fits perfectly. It was originally showcased on the anti-hero’s last release Every Villain Needs A Hero, on the track “KA-BOOM!” Now while the imagery for both may seem tongue-in-cheek, there’s no doubt the meeting of faces has crazed lyricism playing off the characters they embody.
Throughout the album there are brief pauses, skits, which has the rappers playing homage to the golden age of rap, but it’s when they spit on tracks like “Don’t Spoil It,” “Bomb Thrown,” and stun gun, the rappers had prepared themselves to bring the fire, showing it in their A-game over 7L’s blistering boom bap. It isn’t done better than on “Nautical Depth” where musical comparisons are made to DiCaprio, but instead being “the wolf of all beats” or utilizing that crossfader as is “Lord Vader to a Kilo Ren.” These aren’t your average verses the musicians gel together, they’re literally on some next level shit here. Just these artists alone are enough to turn heads and have fans buzzing, but they’re not averse to having others join in. Jedi Mind Tricks’ Vinnie Paz guests on the hard-edged and guttural “Astral Traveling,” and whenever Vinnie’s involved, everything sounds angry! “Phantoms” brings in Open Mike Eagle, the art rapper that brings his abstract wording to new levels here. Damn. That’s what Czarface Meets Metalface is going to have you thinking after constant rotations. It’s going to be hard for anyone to top it in 2018.
Trap music. You can’t avoid it, even in independent circles. So now the latest artist to drop a record that fits within the subgenre is Sahtyre. Or does he? Here lies the conundrum. The Los Angeles rapper just dropped his new The Gorgeous Darkness EP, 7 songs that are timbred with a gloom that’s bound to confuse. The story behind Sahtyre deep in the trenches of his own scene is interesting though. At a young age of 14 he was winning battle raps at the open mic workshop, Project Blowed and his conflicting surroundings were partially responsible for shaping him.
Sahtyre opens The Gorgeous Darkness with “Missy Elliot,” an ode to Misdemeanor in his delivery and odd musical backdrop. He rattles off the hyperbole, constantly filling his words throughout, barely leaving any space in between. What soon follows is “Numb (feat. Trizz),” which begins the Trap tag, with a spacey-induced haze, sparse drum pattering, with a constant barrage or high-pitched keys. His association with rappers like Trizz, whose cadence is what draws it all to the sub-genre is probably the underlying factor. But it’s songs like that and “$100 Zips” that brings it there. “Before You Love Me (feat. Bobby Bucher)” has me reaching to comparisons, vocally, to an obscure release by A Gun Called Tension. Growling vocals and an easily flowed delivery. But then things seem to change midway through.
“Long Way Down (feat. Ash Riser) seems to change direction altogether. Guitars, bass, drums, and Sahtyre dropping some dope lyricism here! Everyone and anyone should be able to get behind this beat, this groove, this semblance of genius. “Afterhourz” jams out with a grimy little funky groove, leaving everything raw. It’s a sweet little party anthem that rips through with bottles poppin.’ He rounds things out with the title track that’s pretty apropos. The track is gorgeous with singer Lenka Shockley singing on that hook and Sahtyre keeping things tight lyrically. I’m torn with The Gorgeous Darkness, but for the most part, Sahtyre shows so much fucking promise here ending it on a high note that sounds pretty bad ass.