“Welcome To Cobra Island” is brilliant. It just is. It’s a rap album dedicated to the “Real American Hero” line of G.I. Joe that began in the 80′s. Historically there is no shortage of albums paying tribute to comic book characters. Iced Earth did an entire record devoted to Spawn (“The Dark Saga”, 1996) and even got Todd McFarlane to illustrate the cover art. Joe Satriani was more than happy to exploit the image of the Silver Surfer for his own purposes. (“Surfing with The Alien”, 1987) What sets Wordburglar’s latest apart from the pack is his obvious affection for the subject matter and dedication to detail. Everyone who knows G.I. Joe can pick Cobra Commander, Destro and Zartan out of a lineup. But Wordburglar manages to name-drop bit-players like Voltar, Shadow Tracker and Darklon without coming off as awkward or forced.
All of your favourite characters are covered here: “Call Destro” draws an intimidating portrait of the silver-masked arms dealer, “I Don’t Wanna Go To Cobra-La” covers the ancient race of snake people introduced in the polarizing 1986 animated film while the three-part “A Letter From Snake-Eyes” provides a voice for the silent protagonist.
It’s not all nostalgia, though. Album closer “Chuckles (The Last Laugh)” draws from a storyline introduced in 2009. On “Rap-Viper”, Wordburglar creates a villainous avatar for himself to live upon Cobra Island.
For hip-hop fans, this is a curiosity worth listening to. For fans of G.I. Joe, “Welcome To Cobra Island” is a must-have.