7L & Esoteric

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7L & Esoteric
Origin Boston, Massachusetts
Genres Hip-Hop, Political hip-hop
Years active 1996–present
Labels Babygrande
Fly Casual Creative
Brick Records
Associated acts East Coast Avengers
Army of the Pharaohs
Jedi Mind Tricks
Wu-Tang Clan
Celph Titled
Inspectah Deck
Mr. Lif
Celph Titled
Vinnie Paz
DJ Premier
Members 7L (George Andrinopoulos)
Esoteric (Seamus Ryan)

7L & Esoteric (7LES) are a Boston-based hip-hop duo, notorious for battle rhymes and boom bap production. 7L is the duo's DJ/Producer and Esoteric the emcee.[1] 7L & Esoteric are both prominent members of the underground hip-hop groups the Demigodz and Army of the Pharaohs.


Early Career (1993-1996)[edit]

The duo formed in 1993 when Esoteric DJed a hip hop show at a college radio station north of Boston. 7L, a DJ and producer who listened to the show, contacted Esoteric in the interest of collaborating. The two found they shared a common love of the golden age of hip-hop and decided to form a group.

After performing for some time in the Boston/Cambridge underground, the duo, with MC Karma known at the time as God Complex, released their first single in 1996. The b-side "Secret Wars" gained a lot of attention as Esoteric paid tribute to the heroes of Marvel Comics in rhyme form. This led to the release of the Rebel Alliance LP, featuring acts such as Virtuoso, Mr. Lif, and Force Five. Also at this time the two dropped the God Complex moniker becoming simply 7L & Esoteric.

Rebel Alliance & Speaking Real Words (1997 1999)[edit]

Soon after, 7L & Esoteric put out their first 12” with re-mastered versions of their Rebel Alliance songs “Protocol” and “Be Alert.” "Be Alert", the B-side on the record, began to receive significant radio play, due to its unique sampling of the Transformers TV theme song. The track, which was produced by Beyonder, became very popular in the underground scene, leading the duo to several European tours, major label interest, and becoming one of the first New England hip-hop acts to appear on the world famous Stretch & Bobbito WKCR radio show in NYC and get spins on the Wake Up Show with MTV's Sway & King Tech. URB Magazine had chosen 7L & Esoteric for their "Next 100" issue in 1997.

The duo then dropped the “Def Rhymes” single though Landspeed Distribution which earned them press in the Source. “Def Rhymes” was also featured on the EP, Speaking Real Words, released in 1999. The album also featured Wu-Tang Clan member Inspectah Deck on the title track. During promotion for the 12", Esoteric had spent time in Philadelphia and formed the supergroup Army of the Pharaohs with Jedi Mind Tricks frontman Vinnie Paz. Esoteric would appear three times on Jedi Mind Tricks breakthrough album Violent By Design in 2000.

The Soul Purpose, Dangerous Connection & DC2: Bars of Death (2000-2005)[edit]

7L & Esoteric released their debut LP The Soul Purpose in the summer of 2001. The single, "Call Me ES" charted at #83 on Billboard hip-hop singles.[2] The album received the Boston Music Award for “Best Hip-Hop Album,”[citation needed] and led to the duo headlining tours of the United States and Europe. Upon their return, they recorded and released their second LP in the fall of 2002 entitled Dangerous Connection featuring Jedi Mind Tricks' Stoupe, Vinnie Paz, J-Live, Apathy, and others.

After taking a break from recording the duo released their third LP DC2: Bars of Death in the spring of 2004 with Babygrande Records. The album received overall positive reviews and was lauded by long-time fans.[citation needed] In 2006, Esoteric compiled an album entitled "Moment of Rarities" which was also released with Babygrande. This CD was a collection of previously unreleased tracks. Esoteric has stated that this CD was put out to fulfill contractual obligations with Babygrande Records.

Dope Not Hype & 1212 (2006-2010)[edit]

In 2006 "A New Dope" was released, taking the duo in a new direction with a more electro influenced sound and the production shared between both 7L and Esoteric. The cover featured a re-creation of an Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat gallery poster, something that was later used by Complex Magazine for A$AP Rocky and Jeremy Scott. The mix of eclectic samples–including pieces of Suicide's electro-punk classic "Girl" ("3 Minute Classic"), Angelo Badalamenti's theme to cult TV show Twin Peaks ("Perfect Person"), and the Serge Gainsbourg/Brigitte Bardot duet "Bonnie And Clyde" ("Everywhere")--evokes the Dust Brothers' work on the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique according to XLR8R magazine.[3] This release opened doors to a wider audience, earning the duo press in alternative music magazines such as XLR8R. The album featured Ultramagnetic MCs' Kool Keith on the track "Daisy Cutta".

2010 saw the release of "1212" which marked a return to their original sound, featuring Brand Nubian's Sadat X rhyming with Esoteric on "The Handle," an ode to 1980s NBA Basketball that was recognized by ESPN.

Czarface & Every Hero Needs A Villain( Czarface 2) (2011-present)[edit]

In 2011, it was announced that 7L & Esoteric were working on a collaborative album with Wu-Tang member Inspectah Deck. The album titled Czarface was released on February 19, 2013.[4] The album features guest appearances from Roc Marciano, Oh No, Ghostface Killah, Action Bronson, Cappadonna and Vinnie Paz. The albums production comes from 7L, Spada4 and DJ Premier.[5] In 2014, 7L produced the track The King's Curse on the Army of the Pharaohs album Heavy Lies the Crown, their second album in 2014 (next to In Death Reborn). Esoteric has a verse on the track, which makes it the first appearance of the duo together since the Czarface album.[6] Later that year, the duo appeared on a track called Hard Hats and Timbs from the EP Year of the Hyenas by Army of the Pharaohs rappers Reef the Lost Cauze and King Syze. The track features raps from Esoteric and production from 7L.[7]

A sequel to Czarface is planned for summer 2015 and is called Every Hero Needs A Villain. On April 7, they released the first single called Deadly Class featuring Meyhem Lauren.[8]

Esoteric solo venture[edit]

Main article: Esoteric (rapper)


Studio Albums[edit]




External links[edit]