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Flatbush Zombies' Trippy Style Takes Inspiration From Stanley Kubrick to Deadpool Comics

Flatbush Zombies move much quicker and rap more fluidly than any of the undead from The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones — but it is such pop-cultural nerd phenomena that infected the three hip-hoppers and has them wreaking havoc on the underground scene.

Their debut album, 3001: A Laced Odyssey, features a cover illustration by a penciller of Deadpool comic books portraying MCs Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Erick "The Architect" Elliott looking like sinister, animated creatures who might steal the Gorillaz' lunch money.

The group's recent video for "Bounce" was a visual homage to the popular, ultraviolent videogame Grand Theft Auto, and they pepper their lyrics with all kinds of pop references, from the comic books they grew up reading to the Stanley Kubrick movie that inspired the name of their top-ten album.

Growing up in Brooklyn, Flatbush Zombies met in elementary school in the '90s, where they bonded over Dragonball Z and hip-hop — though it appears drugs became another major influence as they grew older. The Zombies dubbed their first mixtape D.R.U.G.S. and have said they began referring to themselves as zombies after the first time they ate mushrooms, when their egos "died."

"You know what people say about us. It's the same shit people say now — it's about the drugs. They're not getting the message behind it. People are morons," Darko recently vented to SF Weekly. "I talk about being addicted, so that's not glorification. If fighting addiction is glorification, then I don't know. I guess I just can't rap about anything anymore."

A little digging yields the meaning behind the acronym D.R.U.G.S. It stands for Death and Reincarnation Under God's Supervision, and the group's second mixtape, BetterOffDead, could be taken as a message that perhaps you should just say no.

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Flatbush Zombies' 2016 studio debut, Laced Odyssey, is a somewhat different strain, a concept album bringing together themes from their previous tapes. In the same interview with SF Weekly, Elliott explained the evolution. "With this album, I was going for something that was more cinematic. Our previous projects were about what we were going through at the time, but they weren't albums. This is 12 tracks totally weaved together on purpose to be an odyssey, to be a journey. This is something that no one has ever heard from Flatbush Zombies before."

Flatbush Zombies

With A$AP Twelvyy and Remy Banks. 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $21 plus fees via ticketmaster.com.

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