It's not hard to take literally the title Serial Killers, the name of B-Real, Xzibit and Demrick's new super group.
The trio that released its debut mixtape, "Serial Killers Vol. 1," on Halloween, lives up to its namesake for the video for its lead single, "The First 48."
A play on A&E's homicide investigation series, the video gets graphic. In a bloody scene, Xzibit takes an officer hostage, sealing his mouth with duct tape, threatening him with a riffle and chopping off his ear.
A close look at the album artwork reveals the metaphor. A hooded villain strangles his victim with a chord as a microphone dangles from the opposite end.
"We're just killing the competition, really," Demrick tells Yahoo Music in an exclusive telephone interview. "We wanted to do high energy aggressive music. … We wanted to do almost completely opposite of what everybody else is doing."
The mixtape stands out from the competition, boasting collabs with Kurupt, Goldie Loc, Hospin and Jon Connor, plus beats from the likes of Ill Bill, Nottz, DJ Khalil, Sir Jinx, Futuristiks, G Rocka, Medi. Though B-Real and Xzibit have had massive radio success, this album is strictly underground. They don't vacillate between emceeing and singing, and they are not sweet-talking the ladies.
Dudes who like hardcore, knocking hip hop with street themes will rock with the brash "Dickies & Bandanas" featuring Kurupt, "Get 2 It," "Six Billion Ways" and "No Comin' Back."
The tempo doesn't calm until the album's last song, "Angels Come Calling," a West Coast funk track about living life to the fullest. B-Real raps from the perspective of an OG, and Demrick tells the story of someone on the come up.
"It was almost like the contrast of someone who has seen it all and somebody who's coming up right now," Demrick explains, "and saying that the mind frame is basically that you're going to live everyday and when the reaper calls your name there's no where to hide, always remember you're living on borrowed time."
The album has been in the works for at least three years. Demrick, who is from Philly, has worked with Cypress Hill and Xzibit over the years, and B-Real and X, who share a studio, have collaborated on past projects. A united front made sense.
"We didn't say we were going to sell it," Demrick says. "It was just about having fun with it."
The Serial Killers are considering touring in the New Year and are planning additional volumes.
"We been recording music, so we're motivated by the fans reaction to it," he says.