Album Review | Celestaphone – Weevil in Disguise

This album was released on March 27th this year. Celestaphone is an artist I became familiar with earlier this year after hearing Rewinders, which is a single from this project. I originally checked him out due to his affiliation with MC Paul Barman, and I ended up being very pleased with what I heard, so I figured I should try the full album out. The little write up on the Bandcamp page for this album is super intriguing. I’m not gonna transcribe the whole thing, but just look at this first sentence… “A fear spiraling pen, with the stench of de Sade’s Bastille chambre, as consumed by true hedonistic horror; witness to countless instances of consumer micro-targeting and fat cats trading surveillance methods for voyeuristic doom.” The imagery in this write-up alone is more vivid and imaginative than that of most albums I’ve heard this year, so I really think I’m gonna be in for a treat. The whole album is entirely self produced, and there are 20 tracks, so I’m assuming this thing took a really long time to make. I was a bit apprehensive when I saw how many songs there were, but it’s somehow under an hour in length, so it shouldn’t be too bad. I’m really looking forward to this.

1. Kick of the Bucket

Just as I was suspecting, this album starts out super weird straight out the gate. It kinda reminded me of Andre 3000 to be honest. I don’t know if anyone else will get that, but it really reminded me of the beginning of Humble Mumble. The character he seems to be playing sounds super fucking weird. The sound effects make it sound like some sort of mythical forest, but with the presence of advanced electronic technology. As soon as the song really gets started though… Bruh, I was expecting this to be good, but this shit is WAYYYY better than I thought it’d be. This song is fucking incredible. I was deadass blown away as soon as he started rapping. First of all, this beat is glorious. It sounds like the traditional live music played by indigenous dwarves in the aforementioned forest. Celestaphone killed this shit too.
How the saying go? Taking two to tango
Hope we don’t get tangled; where did all the pain go?
And you numb, looking dumb
Whole lotta faces saying to love, but where they from?
Up above or from thereof
A summon from another summit, huh
Drumming with thumbs, waiting for that innocence to come
But dwindling in businesses got innocence to run
You ain’t got any sense, you dumb
And you getting really giddy like it’s any bet you won
The song sounds weird as hell, but I fucking love it. Nothing sounds like this, man. Again, the closest thing I can compare it to is Humble Mumble, but that’s just because of the weird speech from Andre 3000 at the beginning of that song. This shit is weird as hell, but in the best possible way. I have zero gripes with this; I think it’s an amazing intro.

2. Ransomware

The way the previous track transitions into this one is brilliant. I didn’t even realize that the song changed because it was so seamless. It feels like I’m on a safari, driving by a bunch of speakers, and each one has a different song playing. This beat in particular sounds kinda dreamy; it sort of reminds me of Wonderbread by Danny Brown. Once again, Celestaphone rhymed his ass off here.
I’m off to the disco
I’d only break a promise if it’s ditto
Quit lacking your sense, get on this shit though
The safe word is… Tell me, what safety?
Enough of the crazy, love and a baby?
Born in a shit hole
Torturous pickle, sworn in to tickle
Surface of world hoard and be little
He has a really unique voice. I don’t know of any other MC who sounds like him. I’m sure there are probably other public figures who have similar voices, but none are coming to mind as of Sunday, April 5th at 1:51 PM. I love the vocals on the outro too. There are so many aspects of this album already up to this point that are so different and unique. The aforementioned vocals sound like they were performed by K.K. Slider. I think this song is fucking awesome. I love how different this shit is; nobody else sounds like this.

3. Orbit

This track has a much more Electronic sounding instrumental than the previous couple. It sounds like it’s from an old video game. Once again, Celestaphone fucking murdered this shit.
Seeking advice from where the sun don’t shine, no more
Chime of war, time galore, bee and lice intertwining for
Braulidae, who is thy without pests to pry
Eating niggas seed to steed, from fleas to even me
To real Gs, leave you hanging like a set of keys
All suck and no punch, Dyson not a Tyson
I’m only wifing chicks who take my name with a hyphen
The sung hook isn’t really anything to special to me, but it’s solid. This is the first song on the album with more than one verse, and I think the second one here is even better than the first.
Perma horns like bowling gloves for the both of us
Heard you for trust over showing thrust
Toward a sword blow & thus, throwing us lunge rightfully runs
Gore from cutting up lunch, trifling ones
Browsed bowel colored pair, brown from the hair down
Tailored wear found clowns frowning on the fairground
You can stare at the drip, hair flip and pear hips
Flare like a terrorist preparing to tear shit
See, this is the kinda writing that scares me. Every time I hear someone say some shit like this I feel like I should be wearing a dunce cap because I could never even think of writing something like that. I don’t think the song itself is as amazing as the first couple, but the rapping here is crazy, and the production is pretty cool too. I also love the way it ends. This shit is dope.

4. Social Climate of a Robo Life

This track has yet another unique instrumental. It sounds very loud. I don’t know if that makes sense. Celestaphone’s voice is kinda drowned out by the beat, but the lyrics are thankfully on the Bandcamp page. I love the way he was flowing on that opening verse.
Electropop producers afraid to do with the use of acoustics
Felt the heart stop to restriction inducing music
The hook on this track is pretty dope too. The way the beat completely switches up for the second verse really caught me off guard, but in the best way possible. He killed this shit too; again, the way he rhymes is wild to me, just from a technical aspect.
Then they took us for money
Tuchus for honey while we’re runny nosing
Dummy hoping they file us, under something growing
On going life pile, go on with your lifestyle
Right now, pipe down, cyborg with a tight round
Subtle, one thousand gigabytes of snuffle
Programmed sound every minute snow is being shoveled
The beat switches up a third time in the middle of the second verse, and it’s glorious. Each beat on this song is better than what it precedes. This track really feels like a journey. I think this shit is fucking awesome honestly. It’s dope as hell.

5. Wake Up

This track has another really cool, kind of strange, 80s-ish sounding instrumental. There’s really just one verse on this song with no hook or anything. The verse is fantastic though.
You can catch me soaring to corporate levels
Where cliques wanna whore me or put scores on several
Hellish things to succeed
If we’re under the heavens, where else could hell even be?
The track is relatively short, so there’s not too much going on here, but I don’t have any actual gripes with it. I like the production a lot, and I think the rapping here is fantastic. It’s a dope song.

6. Cadia

This is just a quick instrumental interlude, but it’s actually one of my favorite tracks on the album to be honest. It’s a really goddamn good beat. It’s not just a typical, incessant loop. It sounds like a full band performed this. My favorite aspect of it is definitely the percussion; the drums here sound fantastic. The song is dope as hell.

7. Life Goes On

The transition from the preceding song into this one is so seamless that they sound like one long track. Celestaphone’s performance here is just as great as it is on every other track up to this point. The way he sped through this couplet reminded me of MC Paul Barman. It sounded like a run-on sentence, but in a cool way.
Apologies if I settle blow steam next to my vintage De’Longhi kettle
Stop your tremble, greed not up to speed, see you must get on my godly level
I feel like this is probably one of the more accessible tracks on the album honestly. Nothing about it seems too over the top or left field. His voice is still very unique, but it doesn’t sound strange in an off-putting way. His flow is pretty straightforward here too. The beat here is also really cool. The second verse is awesome.
Rap music for the not stupid
Can’t use it if it’s not grooving; next stop: muted
Seek non-sequitur bars like checks after hard work
The decks and your swarm make the charm work
There’s really nothing that I don’t like about this song. The outro was kinda funny to me. It sounded like it was performed by some privileged white girl brat who has a rich dad.
My daddy bought me my CR-X
All I do is snort coke and have sex
That’s one of my least favorite types of white people. Anyway, I really love this song; I think it’s dope as hell.

8. Faustian

This is yet another fantastic song. The title of this track kinda foreshadows the content, which is pretty dark and strange. Once again, the production sounds like it’s being played by a tribe of mythological creatures. Celestaphone’s writing here is just as vivid and imaginative as it is on every other track, but the theme of this song makes it even more interesting.
Fled the scene with some partial coverage like a brownout
Bed was clean but the marshal hovering with the foul mouth
Seething when they see thee, easy dreaming seizing, you deceiving
Evil thing for feeding, thee believing, all you fiends misleading
I love the way that last couplet flowed. He fucking slaughtered this track, man. Once again, this track is just one verse, but it’s fire. This is one of the best tracks on the album in my opinion; it’s dope af.

9. Buridan Sass

There was yet another flawless transition from the previous track into this one. This is definitely one of the weirder songs on the album in my opinion. I feel like I shouldn’t enjoy this is much as I do, but it somehow just works. The meat of the song is just the instrumental, but Celestaphone spits about 10 bars in the middle with a really odd, smoky, breathy, melodic delivery. I don’t know how to describe it. It sounds like his lungs were crushed, so he’s kinda singing with this super weird voice as if he’s holding on for dear life. It doesn’t even sound bad though. I think it sounds shockingly good. I mean, he’s not gonna blow anyone away with this vocal performance. He’s not sangin’. If anything, I was just blown away by the fact that it didn’t sound terrible. I’m sure a lot of people probably will think that it sounds bad, but I liked it quite a bit. The production here is really nice too. It sounds more melodic and poppy than a lot of the other beats. It doesn’t sound “poppy” in a traditional sense though; this isn’t the kind of instrumental that Taylor Swift would sing over. It reminds me of super old school pop music. I feel like this could’ve shown up on a popular album in the 80s. It’s not one of my favorite tracks overall, but I definitely like it a lot. This shit is dope.

10. Rewinders featuring Th'Mole & MC Paul Barman

Before listening to this song, I’d never heard of Celestaphone. He’s actually the only artist involved in this song that I was completely unfamiliar with. I’m not really that familiar with Th’Mole either, but I’d at least seen his name before. He had a placement on the amazing debut album from Epic Beard Men, which came out last year. However, the main reason I checked this song out is because of the feature from MC Paul Barman. He released one of my favorite albums of 2018, which apparently ended up being my 2nd most listened album of 2019 as well. I even got the chance to interview him in 2018, but I was still suffering from my psychotic episode at the time, so it ended up being terrible. I deleted the interview because I hated it, and he probably thinks I’m a total weirdo, but I’m still glad that I can at least say it happened. Anyway, this song thankfully ended up being really cool. The whole idea of the different bars being “rewinders” is awesome, and I’m surprised I haven’t heard any rappers say something like that before. The first verse from Celestaphone is awesome. I love the part where he says “vision, rewinding like I’m really on a mission,” and then it rewinds and still flows perfectly over the beat. Th’Mole killed that second verse too. His flow during this quatrain was dope as hell…
Stoning, drowning, stake burning, unlearning
Tensions mounting, fountains running out, we’re
Swinging on the precipice, singing on this edifice
So ancestors or aliens can wrestle with what’s left of us
Of course MC Paul Barman had a stellar performance as well. Not to be a stan or anything, but I just recently realized how fitting his last name is. “Barman” makes him sound like some kinda rhyming superhero. That’ll either be really cool or really lame depending on your perspective.
Clever effervescent peasant
Never pleasant to tyrants with violence ever-present
Oh yeah, I almost forgot…
My soul ghost is caught between an ocean rock
And the ones I hold closest to my heart
When they vote against my kids, it’s tough not to hate old folks a lotThe miniature verse he spit for the outro was great too. It was really nice to hear some new stuff from him, and now I have to keep my eye on Celestaphone. This is the first single for an upcoming project from him if I’m not mistaken, so I’m looking forward to that.

11. Sick Ways

This track has one of the weirder beats on the album in my opinion, but in a good way. It’s really dope. I’m not gonna pretend to know exactly what a lot of these lines mean. I just think the way he’s rhyming and putting words together sounds really goddamn great. His flow here is awesome too, and I love how he switches his delivery up multiple times. I felt like there was kind of a sexual theme in this song, but I’m not sure.
Careers take long to bang, ask Nina Hartley
The fear placed dong, poontang, ass in compart pleas
New life be sold it seems, peeking at the chart sheet
You might be old if seen bleeding in the car seat
It’s one of those situations where I feel like I know what he’s talking about, but I’m afraid of sounding dumb so I don’t wanna offer my interpretation. I really fuck with this track though. I think the instrumental is awesome, and of course the writing is stellar. This is dope as hell.

12. Genie

This is another one of the weirder tracks on the album in my opinion. It kinda sounds like the theme music for a children’s TV show like Dragontales or the Berenstain Bears. It’s mainly because of the cartoonish vocals from Celestaphone on the intro, but the beat also has a very warm, child-friendly sounding aesthetic. His verse here is pretty dope, but I wouldn’t say it really stands out much more than any of his other performances.
So for these phonies hope they all get bent
Károlyi shit, the motives to rid most throwing a fit
According to this, womb to room gloom
Genie couldn’t chew food and queued few new views
Doomed to room rules
I was more impressed by the production than anything. The way the instrumental evolves after his verse ends is really awesome. If the track just ended as soon as he was done rapping, this would be a relatively underwhelming track, so I’m glad he fleshed the production out a bit more. It really added a lot to the song in my opinion. This shit is dope as hell.

13. Cheap Cutie

This is yet another super weird, zany, cartoonish sounding track. Hearing this track was like listening to an Ed, Edd n’ Eddy character rap. The verse is pretty cool, although I admittedly have no idea what he’s rapping about.
You’re the government’s cheap cutie, you’re meant to
Torment who leap to intent to
Decrypt all your long calls
Secrets lead lovers quarrel
I felt like I was processing the lyrics well enough during these first few bars, but by the time the verse was over I was completely lost. The instrumental is pretty interesting; it feels like I’m riding on a freight train and he’s rapping over the percussive sound of the train tracks. I mean, it doesn’t actually sound like that, but that’s what I pictured in my head as I was listening to it. I feel like I’ve said this about almost every track on the album, but this is truly one of the weirder cuts. It’s relatively weak in my opinion, but I still like it quite a bit. I think it’s pretty good.

14. Atlantis

This track’s beat sounds a bit more straightforward than most of the others in my opinion. It kinda sounds like an instrumental to an old rock song to me. The first verse is really dope. Once again, I sort of have no idea what he’s rapping about. The lyrics seemed a little sexual to me, but that’s probably just me being a pervert and misinterpreting shit. The second verse was really cool. Even though I have no idea what any of this means, I can still appreciate the writing from a technical standpoint; his flow and rhymes here are really nice.
Been troubled up looking for double to bring
So how it been huddled hugging a dumb human being
Argue null basis like art with no bassist
Know your place is thin brittle, I marvel this status
This isn’t one of my favorite tracks on the album, but I don’t have any serious gripes with it. It seems slightly less adventurous than some of the other songs, but I still fuck with it. This shit is dope.

15. Worm of Cans

This is just an instrumental track, but it’s amazing. This is actually one of my favorite beats on the whole album. I’m sure this is the most accessible track on the album too. It kinda sounds like something Solemn Brigham would slaughter. This really makes me wonder what an episode of Rhythm Roulette with Celestaphone would be like. I think that would be fucking awesome. There are a shit ton of producers I still wanna see on that show, but Celestaphone would certainly be one of the most interesting picks, along with SHADI & Yikes the Zero. Anyway, this beat is fucking awesome as I already said, and this is definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. This shit is dope af.

16. Coretta featuring YOUNGMAN

This is one of the more exciting songs in the track listing due to the feature from YOUNGMAN, who is of course MC Paul Barman’s alter-ego. Once again, the way the previous track segues into this one is incredibly seamless. MC Paul Barman’s writing here is impeccable as always.
Time for bed
Mu’fuckers believe what a liar said
Society held together by a thread
Not everyone in higher ed. is there to learn
But your biggest obstacle’s inside your head
This track feels more like an interlude than anything since it’s even shorter than the preceding instrumental, and it’s just a short verse from YOUNGMAN. It’s fire though. The beat kinda sounds like what I’d hear in the background of a surfing video compilation. This shit is dope as hell.

17. Gas Food Lodging

This track has another relatively straightforward instrumental in my opinion. It’s a dope beat though. There’s only one verse on the song, but it’s dope, even if I’m still struggling to process what a lot of it means.
They bought em’ off, burden threatened tools
You gotta follow certain set of rules
Ferret-legging at The Possum Drop
Pair of egging brats made hot slop out the honest pop
The sample is really nice here; this kinda just sounds like a regular rock song with a verse from Celestaphone in the middle. I have no idea what the sample is though. This isn’t really a highlight for me on the album, but nothing about it is particularly bad in my opinion. My favorite aspect of the song is just the sample because I think it sounds really nice, but the rapping from Celestaphone was great as well. This is a dope song.

18. Blaming

This is the longest song on the album. It’s also one of the best in my opinion. The instrumental here is fucking incredible. The weird ass melodic vocal delivery from Celestaphone is really cool as well. I also think this track has some of the most interesting lyricism on the album personally.
You know you’re dying when a glass of water gets heavy
Intense medley, go for crying in bed see
Lacking their signs of health for self
Oughta patent your own emotional jail cell
It really sounds like an entire fuckin’ orchestra performed this instrumental. It’s really amazing. The second verse is phenomenal.
I’ve been picked on by script kiddies with snipped titties
Keen to get off to slit pretties and split kidneys
And you say it’s too soon to prove you’re a loon
Latter-day ingenue, those fooled, orbitude
This really feels like the climax of the album. Again, it’s the longest song on the project, but it doesn’t feel too longwinded or drawn out. It truly feels like the length is justified. In fact, I’m convinced that if it was only 3 minutes it’d probably feel too short to be honest. The beat switch after the second verse is glorious. The production on this track is seriously immaculate. The final verse is also spectacular.
Goodness gracious, lord have mercy on your soul
I hope you both go do-si-do
So not a talentless mold
But a man with just cold feet and army of sycophant gnomes
Sickened to known, I should never given the loan
And now I’m here in this bitch to moan
The hook is dope as hell too. There’s really not a single aspect of this song that I don’t love. I think this shit is incredible.

19. Hoop

This track has a pretty cool beat. I was completely lost when it comes to deciphering the lyricism at first, but it kinda clicked after a third listen.
Like a vampire biting Charlie Sheen’s neck fat
Or goth chicks with hardly clean pet bats, I’m just stressed that
Spit game’s a hassle like mono spin the bottle
It’s just awful when rap models become fossils
I might be wrong about what he’s trying to communicate here, but I’m pretty sure I know what he’s saying. I feel like I appreciate this much more now that I’ve kinda figured out what he’s rapping about. The first verse is dope. That second verse is fucking incredible though. The way he was rhyming there was really astonishing.
In faces, in places were muffles glued if unaided
That’s great you innovated, but really kept us waiting
KRS said he’s considered a 33rd degree
And just fed murder tree, Cerbera hurting thee
Hip hop, long gone from gospel, not an apostle
Don’t got those, that show got caulked at the tonsils
Shut ’em up, go grab the records, cut ’em up
Nothing but dope crap busting decks for loving us
I like the production here quite a bit, but it’s really the rapping that stood out the most to me. This shit is dope as hell.

20. Bulls

This is a pretty cool outro. He doesn’t rap here at all, so the main selling point in my opinion is the production. He’s kinda singing in the background, but it’s virtually unintelligible. I’m not even sure if he was saying real words. There was kind of a strange filter on his vocals, so it sounded like Phil Collins’ voice in In the Air Tonight. This isn’t a stand out track to me, but I don’t have any real issues with it. This is dope.

This album is really goddamn great. It’s also weird as fuck. I’d still say that the number one weirdest Hip Hop album I’ve ever heard in my life is You Can’t Hear Me by SHADI, but this is definitely the weirdest thing I’ve heard in 2020. SHADI’s music is weird because he sounds like he’s insane or something, but Celestaphone’s music is weird because he just sounds… weird. It doesn’t sound like he has a mental illness or anything. He just sounds like a super bizarre, unique personality. There’s really nothing that sounds like this in my opinion, but if I had to compare it to something I’d say he sounds like he studies the way MC Paul Barman writes, and the music he produces sounds like it’s straight out of an old school cartoon, but not something innocent like The Flinstones. This is like the Hip Hop equivalent to Ren & Stimpy. The fact that he completely produced this shit all on his own is really insane to me. These beats don’t sound like the work of one person. This definitely isn’t gonna be for everyone; it’s an acquired taste for sure. I personally think this shit is awesome though, and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. I think it’s one of the better albums I’ve listened to in 2020, and I don’t think I’ll be hearing anything like it until Celestaphone drops another project in the future. This shit is really fucking great though. I love it. Check it out. It’s dope.

SCORE: 88 (A-)