Czarface is a collaboration between Boston-based underground hip-hop duo 7L & Esoteric and Wu-Tang Clan MC Inspectah Deck. The trio's collaboration stretches back to 1999, when Inspectah Deck guested on 7L & Esoteric's "Speaking Real Words" single. Deck later appeared on "12th Chamber," a track on 7L & Esoteric's 2010 album, 1212.
After brainstorming a full-length for several years, Czarface's self-titled debut emerged on Brick Records in 2013. The album was loosely based around the character of Czarface, a hero intended to save hip-hop, and featured comic-style artwork by Lamour Supreme that resembled the work of DC Comics illustrator Jack Kirby. The album sported guest appearances by Action Bronson, Vinnie Paz, and Wu-Tang MCs Ghostface Killah and Cappadonna, and featured hard-hitting, no-nonsense production by 7L and Spada4 as well as one track by DJ Premier. The album was well received by fans of underground hip-hop, and was quickly followed by a limited 7" single, "Czardi Gras (It's Raw Again)."
The trio returned in 2015 with sophomore album Every Hero Needs a Villain, which continued the first album's theme and production style (with a bit more emphasis on crunchy guitar riffs) and featured guest verses by MF Doom, Large Professor, Ju-Ju of the Beatnuts, and Wu-Tang's Method Man and GZA. The following year, Marvel reached out to the trio for a musical contribution to the web series for Black Panther. The creative invigoration from one of their biggest inspirations sent Czarface back into the studio for their third album, A Fistful of Peril, which arrived in late 2016. A fourth, First Weapon Drawn, arrived in 2017; unlike the group's previous albums, this one featured no rapping, only narration. Czarface then reunited with MF Doom for 2018's Czarface Meets Metal Face. ~ Paul Simpson