Album Review | Celestaphone – Paper Cut from the Obit

This album was released on February 17th this year. Celestaphone is an artist who I first discovered through his work with MC Paul Barman. His last solo album, Weevil in Disguise, was one of my favorite albums of 2020, and the album he produced for MC Paul Barman in 2021 was even better. I think the dude’s production skills are super underrated, and he’s a really cool lyricist as well. The one aspect of his music that I think might be a bit inaccessible to some listeners is his voice, which is very unique. I personally like it a lot though. I think it works well with his off-kilter production style. Anyway, I’ve already listened to this album, and I can already tell y’all that I love it. I’m just gonna come out and say it; this is my favorite album of the year so far. Let me tell y’all why…

The album begins with a highlight entitled Erfurt Latrine. Right away, the jazzy, funky production blew me away. This shit sounds like it was performed by a full fucking orchestra. The fact that Celestaphone produced this all by himself is kind of crazy. His rapping over it is perfect too. I don’t know if there’s a single rapper out there who would’ve fit better over this production than Celestaphone himself. It can be kind of difficult to make out what he’s saying because the production kinda swallows his voice a little bit, but thankfully the lyrics are on Bandcamp, so I’m able to appreciate them anyway. One of my favorite parts of the first verse is when he kinda breaks into a more melodic delivery.

And I went on to do it cool, you're liable to do it too
I promise what you're going through is audible with poems, true
Yeah thank you later, I'll thank you all
Made your whole law just to save your jaw
And all along it's flawed, just wrong
I know they'll robe a post with their vaudeville picture
G-men know not to throw a cent, too sick to really pitch in
I gotta load to throw the monkey wrench in:
"Hardcore nihilist
Difference between me and homicidist is
I prefer art before violence"

The way the beat kinda switches up for the second verse is amazing too. The production is really dynamic. There’s a lot going on in this song. It just sounds massive. Like I said, it’s hard to comprehend the fact that Celestaphone produced all of this by himself. This song alone just proves how talented he is. This shit is amazing. The song’s dope as fuck, and easily one of the best tracks I’ve heard in 2023. The following track is called Jettatura, and it’s fire. Once again, the dynamic production blew me away, and Celestaphone slaughtered the opening verse.

Booth with her, Sue Trinder a poon hitcher
Picture my itcher guy soon to hit the womb enter
Assume your fleet'll have a cool winter
But when the heat fills rooms you'll feel cálida 'nough for pool centers

There’s actually a hook on this song too, which is pretty solid. Dat production tho… It’s beautiful. It’s like organized chaos. Just like with the preceding instrumental, there’s a lot going on here. It never feels like too much though. I’m blown away by the production. This song is fire. I think it’s dope as hell. The following track is even better; it’s called Small World, and it’s glorious. The fucking production… Gotdamn. That beat is incredible. I love it. It’s definitely one of the best beats I’ve heard this year. I absolutely adore the way Celestaphone was flowing on this track too. He sounds so good.

I believe in a soul, things are connected
Why we keep moving the goal, leaving the message?
I know where the Central Park Karen fled to, I'm on the same island
Don't look for a Celestaphone in California, you won't find them
And when you get nuked I’ll push the publish button during the silence

His wordy flow on the second verse is awesome too. There’s really nothing about this song that I don’t love. I almost forgot to mention the instrumental outro, which is phenomenal. This shit is boiling hot fire, and arguably even better than the opening song. I haven’t chosen a favorite track yet, so I’m gonna have to think about that. Anyway, the song’s dope as fuck, and it transitions really nicely into the following track, Day. This song is a pretty groovy instrumental track that I fuck with a lot. This song didn’t totally blow me away like the preceding material did, but I’d be cappin’ hard if I said I didn’t really enjoy it. It’s just a really good instrumental. I think it’s dope. Track 5 is called AM PM, and, once again, this shit is fire. As always, I was super impressed by the production. However, it was actually Celestaphone’s rapping that pushed this track to the next level for me. His melodic flow and delivery just sounds really goddamn good over this beat. I mean, I kinda have no idea what any of the lyrics mean, but I still enjoy them quite a bit.

My 3C 4A knots give the greasy pore a clot
Keep your Nizoral box, MCT or ya boy'll rot
For Seb-derm pressure done boiled the shot
I keep a shaggy man's clipper
We shave strands like Lavry Savitr
It's the dandruff's Fast of Esther
Drought Cali weather keep scalp doused here like Saudi emperor
Barrels and barrels amounts of skin care
The cost on the balance is sin-near
Phloretin CF, you'd thought Amaterasu had actually been here

Even if I’m not totally sure what the content is about, I can enjoy the lyrics for their rhymes and word choices. I mean, I know this song is about hair and self care. I just feel like there’s something I’m missing. Anyway, this song is kinda split up into two sections: AM & PM. The AM section sounds a lot more lighthearted and friendly. Meanwhile, the PM section is definitely more chaotic and dark. The lyricism is fantastic too.

Gosh darn gluten it booting all kinds of stupid stuff
Gotta take a look, gotta go bald like a Buddhist monk
Can't keep the Rastafarian cheese it seems
These parties of dermatitis feast in ease
I'm the target, it flees from wheat onto me
Of all the genes, which part is responsible, please?
The breeded hardware freeze for one horrible sneeze
What a horrible thing I could blame corporate for these
Their art's less culinary, more profit Nth degree

This is another highlight for me on the album. I love the rapping, and the production is of course super detailed and layered. I live for this shit. The song’s dope as hell. It’s followed by another highlight called Roof. This track is just under 70 seconds long, but I don’t even mind the brevity because what’s here hits so hard. The production is absolutely stunning. This is definitely one of my favorite instrumentals on the album. There’s just one verse on this track, and it’s pretty short, but it’s really fucking great.

Raise y'all nincompoop littles
Patriarch, Stu Pickles
Baby make a mark that's not poo poo or spittles
Goo goos and giggles, who's who in Whoville
Blue's given scribbles, no true tooth just drivel
DHX the set, the label Drumhex
My shit is drumful, don’t call it drumless
Dumbs get upset, dumps on the net
I swear you the one I want to hunt next

Again, the song is pretty short, but it hits really hard. I think it’s another one of the best songs of the year. The following song is called Tops Turvy. I know I’ve been giving this album hella praise so far… This song is better than any of the preceding tracks. This shit is fucking incredible. The proDUCtion! It’s so good, bro. The fucking beat almost has, like, a G-Funk feel to it. It’s like futuristic G-Funk. I love it. Celestaphone killed this shit too.

Floaters in each eye, the film grain of the simulation
I'll never take seriously litigation
I only see pride from old guys with spiritual limitations
You'll never be cleared of imitation
The angel in my phone look like Tania Raymonde
The other one, Katerina Tannenbaum, praise god
Praise Allah, praise your mom
Praise Gojira star on Walk of Fame boulevard
That's proof enough to I that masochism's running the pub
Or the fact that you're on Fetlife asking for munches and subs
Proving booty call's not a synonym for butt dial
One thing doing numbers is pummeling leather chump hires

That line about floaters in your eyes being the film grain of the simulation was crazy to me. I also loved the Fetlife reference. That made me smile. Anyway, there’s really not a single aspect of this song that I don’t love. I think this shit is amazing. It’s followed by NEET Daughter. Once again, the production had me floored. It has me picturing giants stomping on villages. It just sounds really big. I hope that makes sense. Anyway, the rapping here is just as good as the production in my opinion. Celestaphone killed this shit.

The group's suicide don't mean you're dead on arrival
You confusing empathy with mimicry, heads on a bible
Accept these people died and try to fathom their pain
And if you had to mine their game, you can still stay alive, sane

I’m afraid that I’m starting to sound like a broken record. There are only so many ways I can praise an artist. Most of what I’ve said about the preceding material applies to this song as well though. The production is super detailed and ambitious, and Celestaphone’s wordy, off-kilter lyricism had me hooked. This shit is dope as hell. The following track is called Gravid Patch, and it was one of the more exciting songs in the tracklist for me because it features Defcee & R.A.P. Ferreira. This shit ended up being just as great as I was expecting too. The opening verse from Defcee is pretty awesome. I was curious to see what he would sound like over Celestaphone’s production. It works perfectly.

According to drug tests, he’s been pregnant twice
His gut’s held more balloons than ballrooms on election night
6'6" and a half, I’m the devil’s height
My teeth looking like the picket line on a dental strike
What do we want? Braces! When do we want em? Not now!
Screwed up the last show so I carjacked Doc Brown
Heard their kingpin raps, and then flatulent stock sounds
They once dropped thirty dimes in the same night, Scott Skiles

He sounds really great here. Celestaphone killed this shit too. His flow was really nice, particularly during this section…

Never seen a plate go cold on our land
Aw man, now that's hard rap
Grabbed a track from the back, the belts colored black
Said "dabble with that"
Almanac ain't drafting the stats to rat that attack
Bold rapper, soul jacker, know you batting with smack

The closing verse from R.A.P. Ferreira is just as fantastic as I was expecting it to be as well. This is another highlight on the album for me. I think it’s dope as hell. The following track is entitled Mantindane. Once again, this is another highlight for me. The production is absolutely phenomenal, and Celestaphone’s dense lyricism had me hooked throughout the entire track.

Fuck a Raëlian Pleiadian alien aryan neo-Nazi
Quit saying the face of one sapient is near or godly
That’s just more Mormonism
No porn and no score of wisdom
Mind over matter, divine holds infinite banter
Cultureless progression’s a facade
There’ll always be slaves to a cabal
And, nah, not one of us owns it all
Simoleon fast forward on
Crosstalking beyond, no Integratron

The weird, sung hook is nice too. I don’t know whether I’m more impressed by the production or the rapping. Celestaphone fits over his own instrumentals like a glove. This shit is fire. The song’s dope as hell. It’s followed by an instrumental track called Nay. If you’re into Jazz music, you’ll most likely be able to appreciate this track. It’s just a really jazzy instrumental. Again, it sounds like something that should be performed by a full band. I think it’s really impressive. With that said, it’s not really a highlight for me on this album just because I find the tracks with actual rapping to be more impressive. This shit is still really good though. I think it’s dope. Track 12 is called Paintings of Panspermia, and it’s one of the weirdest songs on the album. It’s pretty fucking awesome though. The way Celestaphone was flowing on this track was really insane. It’s the type of flow that I’m convinced no other rapper is capable of. The way he was rapping before the beat fully dropped was crazy.

Einstein disproven, epistemological anarchism spawned
All theories can be wrong, so show me phenomenon
Entertainment matrix, you pay to be the greatest
Businesses are just slave ships, pick a suit to get raped in

He killed this shit. The second half of the song consists of one of the more cacophonous examples of instrumentation on this album. Not necessarily in a bad way. It kind of works. It’s definitely not the most pleasant moment on the album, but it’s not actually bad either. Like I said, it works. I think it’s good. I just think the synths sound a bit harsh. If those are even synths. I don’t know. I’m bad at identifying instruments. I think they’re synths though. Anyway, the song is dope as hell overall. Track 13 is called They All Con It. This is another one of the weirder songs on the album in my opinion, which is saying a lot. This track doesn’t really have one of my favorite instrumentals on the album, although I do still think it’s very good. I am mostly impressed by Celestaphone’s actual lyricism on this track though.

It's like BZFlag against your greasy dad
He be mad, key slamming PC mash
Please bash all the post-blingbling rap
Need new swing, not a Ringling trapeze act
Supercrappynation, all strings exposed
This Land Is Your Land: anti-fatigue mat door
Let go, let your magazine show
That's Teen Vogue peeking out The Three-Day Blow

The first verse is amazing, and the rest of the song is really great too. The sung refrain was kind of a turn-off on my first listen of the song, but, upon further listening, I’ve come to appreciate it. I think it’s so weird that it adds to the charm of the song. I really love this track. Celestaphone killed this shit. It’s dope as hell. Track 14 is called Chitauri Soup, and it’s another instrumental track. Out of all the songs on this album that are just instrumentals, this is easily my favorite. I just think it’s a really blissful, pretty-sounding beat. The way this track crescendos towards the end is fucking amazing too. Seriously, this track probably has the best outro out of all the songs on the album, and it really elevated this track to the next level for me. One thing that I wanna make sure I take the time to mention is the fact that every single track on this album segues into the next really seamlessly. It all just sounds like one song with a bunch of different elements. I mean that in a good way. Anyway, this track is dope as fuck. I love it. The penultimate track is called Tithes, and it’s another one of the more exciting songs in the tracklist because it features Armand Hammer & Moor Mother. This song has one of the most beautiful instrumentals on the whole album. Seriously, the production here is gorgeous. This song features two godly verses from Elucid & woods too. They both slaughtered this track. In the past I’ve been kind of ambivalent towards Moor Mother, but I really adored her performance on this track as well. Celestaphone doesn’t rap on this track at all. The features really came through with some stunning performances though. I feel comfortable calling these the best features I’ve heard in 2023 so far. The song is dope as fuck. The closing song is even better. It’s called Babies, and the production here is absolutely fucking incredible. I can’t praise this instrumental enough. It might be the best beat I’ve heard in 2023. It’s so fucking good. The verse on this track is performed by MC Paul Barman, of whom y’all already know I’m a giant fan. I think he’s a genius, and, after listening to this album, I think Celestaphone is as well. You know what? Fuck it. This is my favorite track on the album. The instrumental is just too incredible for me to not adore this song, and MC Paul Barman fucking killed it. He’s literally rapping about babies the entire time, but it’s fire.

Babies take what they need and it’s not no IOU, cry on cue
Why won’t you? To blow minds, show what pine cone do
Adults are like, “Ew, an iPhone 2?”
Adults blow chunks
Slow punks spread more bile than grown skunks
They can dish it out but they can’t take it out
Get off lucky if I merely break they snout
All their false bravado is see through is naked doubt

There’s not a single aspect of this song that didn’t blow me away. Celestaphone really ended this album on a high note. Fire. FIRE!

This album is amazing. I think this is the best project I’ve heard from Celestaphone, which is saying a lot. This is easily the best album I’ve heard in 2023, and I’ll be surprised if that ends up changing any time soon. The production from Celestaphone is absolutely spectacular, and the lyricism is stunning as well. There’s not a single consistent gripe that I have with this project. This is a must-listen for 2023 as far as I’m concerned. Even if you’re not into the unorthodox rapping, I’m sure you’ll appreciate how detailed and layered the production is. This album really excited me, which is why I made an effort to cover it. I had a lot of trouble choosing a favorite track because so many of them blew me away. I haven’t heard an album this good in a long ass time. This shit really blew me away. Don’t sleep on this album. It’s dope as fuck. Give it a listen, and thank me later.

Favorite Song: Babies
Least Favorite Song: Nay


Grade: A

Tell me if I'm trippin'

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s