‘Every Hero Needs a Villain’ is the sophomore release from Czarface, the hip-hop group consisting of Inspectah Deck, of Wu-Tang Clan fame, and Boston duo 7L & Esoteric. This sequel, which is by no means a sophomore slump, continues the story of the first release ‘Czarface’ (2013), and is just as entertaining and creative. The album is filled to the brim with pop culture references, the continuation of the overarching comic book theme, and campy pro wrestling samples, which are my personal favorite.
The album’s themes and lyrics are not just in top form, but are also very timely. The release of this album coincides with the rise of the popularity of the antihero, with the premieres of the new ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Deadpool,’ and the upcoming ‘Suicide Squad.’
However, it’s the witty lyrics that are really killing the game on this album. The fire starts to burn right from the intro, activating the lasers, in ‘Don The Armor,’ that keep this record’s blazing fire alive for all sixteen smoking tracks. The first track, ‘Czartacus,’ already starts the album off strong with its humorous homage to Spartacus, and its great lyrics like, “To my soldiers in the street, who are really cats in the lab/rappers on their Ipad, trend-humping every fad/give me something I can grab/something with substance/your tracks be sounding flat, our tracks? Kate Uptons.” The first single, ‘Deadly Class,’ features some of the best lyrics from the album with sweet bars like, “Shit, I’m known for rocking silk collectibles/hardcore gutter, my style straight out of vestibules/ now we at festivals throwing the crowd vegetables.” The album ends on a true high note, with the song “Deviatin’ Septums,” whose title not only resonates with me but also features great punch lines, “Tell me again, how many (Ladies!) are you slayin’?/ when you really watching Pornhub clips with fifty-two percent ratings/my mind’s all smart, it’s in the ball park as Jean Paul- Sartre/yours is in the parking lot of Walmart.”
While their respective 90’s origins are apparent, the group works well together, combining forces to create gluten-free wordplay in their songs whose samples range from hard rock influences to the Bollywood inspired beats of ‘Ka-Bang!’ The album is not without its great guest appearances, featuring fellow Wu-Tang members, Method Man and GZA. ‘Every Hero Needs a Villain’ is a total blast of a blockbuster from start to finish. It’s the perfect soundtrack for starting your work day, your weekend, or getting into your super suit for battle, because this album is the antihero your day never knew it needed.