Xzibit, B Real & Demrick – “Serial Killers Vol. 1” (Mixtape Review)  DX Consensus: “Free Album (the highest possible praise for a mixtape)”

Collaborative projects have become a “thing” within Hip Hop. Whether it’s Jay Z and Kanye West as “The Throne,” in all their decadence and luxury, Slaughterhouse with all their wittiness and backpack glory, or Random Axe, in all their gritty and ruggedness, projects featuring artists already firmly established with solo careers coming together as one are at an all-time high. Far before the aforementioned dynamic duos, and super crews however, there was the Golden State Warriors. The trio consisting of Xzibit, Ras Kass, and Saafir even predated the Four Horsemen (Ras Kass, Kurupt, Killah Priest and Canibus). Unfortunately, while dope tracks and freestyles were received from the Golden State Warriors, a full-length project was not. Now, Xzibit (who also played a major role in the formation of another group, Strong Arm Steady) has teamed up with B Real and Demrick to form Serial Killers. The resulting Serial Killers Vol. 1 is exactly what fans of the original super groups would have wanted and will most likely still love.

“Serial Killers Vol. 1” can be easily described. Xzibit and B Real’s flows, voices and respective presence on the mic haven’t aged at all, and Demrick is never overshadowed. In fact, on several tracks, Demrick clearly shines. On “Wanted” he spits, “‘Cause for that stash, I keep in that coffee can under my bed / Shit could get sacrilegious / And I lay bitches flat, break backs like practitions / A man that lack visions is prone to make bad decisions / All I had was ambition, and a mission to get outta this position / I was raised where wasn’t nobody listenin’ / To shit I had to say, respect was only paid if you ballin’ like Battier / So put that glove and bat away…” Demrick’s presence is also strongly felt on “In the Sky.” While Ill Bill holds down the boards for three of the project’s 14 tracks, Sir Jinx, DJ Khalil, Nottz and others provide a brutal, yet cohesive foundation for the trio.

Xzibit, Demrick, and B-Real aren’t all present on every track of “Serial Killers Vol. 1,” avoiding the “We’re a group, so we all have to be on every track” forced feel often given off by most collaborative projects. The features are also on point. Of all the up and coming artists, Hopsin and Jon Connor are probably the best fit for the “Serial Killers Vol. 1.” Hop, appears on “Doctor’s In” spitting homicidal rhymes over haunting keys, provided by DJ Lethal and C-Lance. Demrick is absent on “Dickies And Bandanas,” but West Coast Legend, Kurupt fills in with a verse that finds him in vintage Tha Streetz Iz A Mutha form. On a project that relies on hardcore rhymes, and hard knocking beats, “Laugh Now” is the highlight of the album. The heavy kick of Nottz’s drums are assaulted viciously by Demrick, Xzibit, and the aforementioned Jon Connor.

“Serial Killers Vol. 1” is pure unadulterated, hardcore Hip Hop. Those looking for groundbreaking subject matter should look elsewhere. Those looking for dope, hard rhymes, over beats that provide the necessary backdrop, while not overshadowing the rhymes, will be more than satisfied. Not every track on “Serial Killers Vol. 1” is a grand slam (“Get 2 It” is forgettable), but the project is full of ridiculously insane rhymes, with beats that don’t scare you way from replaying tracks to catch the lines you missed.