Havelock Nelson
May 29, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Dead Serious

Current Status
In Season

We gave it a B-

When MCs Skoob and Krazy Drayz entered a rap battle last year at Virginia State University, they lost the $100 grand prize but won the admiration of guest judges Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith, better known as gold-selling rappers EPMD. These self-styled hip-hop businessmen helped Skoob and Drayz land a recording contract as DAS EFX. On their debut album, Dead Serious, they display a fondness for verbal puzzles and hardcore roughness. Armed with an exhaustive catalog of pop-culture references (from commercial jingles to nursery rhymes, Madonna, and Sinéad O’Connor), they also use lots of double-time gibberish (”drippety-drop,” ”biggety-bum”) and spin this nonsense into hardcore tracks that resemble the loopy, pumping, stripped- down sound of their mentors. But this technique quickly loses its charm when DAS EFX issues warnings to fast women and seems to endorse gay-bashing. At the very least, these attitudes are tired. Despite the gritty funk beats here, the novelty and mindless pleasure of Dead Serious swiftly wane. B-

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