Killaz No Bullets Necessary

With Hasbro breathing down their necks, the G.I. Joe Killaz are simply calling themselves the Killaz now and have whittled themselves down to a less conspicuous duo. On opening track "One Gun Shot," Des (previously Destro) and Stacy (previously the Baroness) justify the betrayal and assassination of third member Cobra Commander. It's also on this song and album closer, "The Sage Continues...," that the two remaining members detail their new battle plan for world domination now that they've inexplicably eliminated the last Joe. It's Fight Club-style infiltration: "We gonna work for you, we gonna be your neighbours, we gonna be your friends," raps Destro. The rest of this seven-song EP is not so blatantly influenced and holds up surprisingly well without the gimmick. But make no mistake, the Killaz are still busting laser gun shots with raps that eschew the virtues of camouflage ("Flauge Godz"), poisons ("VX"), laser guns ("L.A.S.E.R.") and their tank ("40 Inch Rims"). And on "The People Zoo," the Killaz concoct a plan that would not only impress the writers of G.I. Joe, but it also comments on our current celebrity culture. Both Des and Stacy sound more confident with their raps and flows, and Stacy has further refined her soulful singing, although it does get a bit much on "L.A.S.E.R." Tomas Jirku — the face behind the Cobra Commander mask — once again produces, but with a better selection of hip-hop laced with electro, reggae and G.I. Joe samples. When nerdcore meets hardcore on a Saturday morning, it's the Killaz. (Red Mist)