STOP the presses, sound the alarms and call the police. Reliable sources indicate that for at least 30 minutes one day last week, Jan Lamb and Eric Kot got serious. Very serious in fact. ''You know, there's not a single mother in Hongkong who is going to tell their child to use a condom,'' said Kot, one half of Commercial Radio's singing, rapping, joking duo the Soft and Hardcore Kids. ''So who will tell them?'' ''This is a topic we have been waiting and waiting to have a chance to touch,'' Lamb said. ''Nobody else will sing this kind of song with this kind of attitude.'' The two were talking about the song Everybody Needs to Lup (a play on the Cantonese slang words for ''love'' and ''protection'') on their chart-topping album Broadcast Drive Fans Murder - the one with the beefcake cover. And that song, like others dealing with issues such as poverty, record company corruption and the Lan Kwai Fong tragedy is part of their attempt to prove they are more than just a couple of funny faces. The album, the pair's second and Hongkong's first extended-play Cantonese rap, represents a determined move away from the karaoke-craving pop scene. ''It's our attitude,'' shrugged Kot, the burlier of the two. ''We don't just want to say 'I love you, I love you, oh dear, I hurt you, I hurt you'. We wanted to choose topics.'' ''The material comes from the street, actually,'' Lamb said. ''All the stuff happens around us; it's stuff we feel deeply about. And of course it's our attitude. All these people are doing karaoke - no one is releasing songs about things that are happening around us.'' Serious words, true. But they are couched in the quickfire, slang-filled patter that has taken the Soft and Hardcore Kids from relative obscurity to Broadcast Drive and the hordes of adolescent admirers who wear out their Dr Martens pounding after their idols. ''The song [the title track] is about how they are crazy, screaming and waiting around for their idols,'' Kot said. ''Sometimes they even race after our car in the middle of the street.'' ''The worst thing is when they cry,'' Lamb chipped in. ''We're holding up a mirror to them.'' It's not just Leon Lai Ming the fans want then: our two heroes are right up there in the idol stakes, at least in terms of sales. Broadcast Drive Fans Murder went straight to number one on the local charts. It took the record company, Cinepoly, by surprise. Stocks ran out in record shops, there was a delay in getting replacements out and the album slipped to number three, then four last week. ''Maybe some of them bought it because of the [beefcake] poster,'' pondered Kot. ''We weren't surprised about number one because the market was quiet at the time, but we think it fell to number three because of the [lack of] stock.'' Lamb said: ''Our ambition was really for people to look at the lyrics. Some may sit down, I guess, wanting karaoke or funny songs. But then they'll listen to it and say 'Wai! No laugh-fu. Wai! No funny-ah'.'' What they get is an album that certainly catches the eye: from its computer-imaged cover shot to the liner notes which are written after the style of notorious Hongkong character, Mr Tsang, who scrawls bizarre messages on walls around town. A typical Tsang outburst might contain his home address, a report on his health, an earthy expletive or two, and his opinions on the news of the day. ''The style he writes seems to us to be like rapping,'' Lamb said. Then there are the lyrics. The songs range from the humorous (the title track) to the deadly serious: Everybody Needs to Lup. ''The idea is just to love each other - that we must love each other first and remember not to hurt others,'' said Lamb. Another track deals with the New Year's Eve Lan Kwai Fong tragedy. ''We are actually talking about the people who used to go but now have a hesitation about going there after the accident,'' Lamb said. ''But we do criticise the people who after the case said silly things like: 'Ah, blame it on the poster, the outdoor radio broadcast, the beer'.'' Another savages Hongkong's pop music awards. ''We are trying to tell the truth about how [pop idols] get their 'gold' awards,'' Kot said. ''How they get them because they go to Club BBoss [formerly Club Volvo] and drink beer. We're not saying the whole thing is wrong - just some companies' way of doing things.'' Apart from a collaboration with Faye Wong, the album is entirely rap. The duo's first Cinepoly release featured some rap, but also some weak attempts at crooning. They vowed not to make the same mistake this time. ''We can't sing,'' Lamb said. ''We don't feel very comfortable going 'la la la' like Andy Lau. And one night at a show Anthony Wong Yiu-ming [formerly of Tat Ming Pair] told us we should do a dance rap album.'' They admit the Leon Lai fans may not fully understand Broadcast Drive Fans Murder, but insist the album is essential to their breaking the stereotypical shackles. They claim to hate television (''everything is scripted''), and want to take to the stage for some stand-up shows as well as releasing another album at the end of the year - all in an effort to redefine the way the public sees them. ''The most important thing about this is the publicity,'' Lamb said. ''People won't change their minds . . . they'll still say we are the Soft and Hardcore Kids. ''The pressure to be funny is very big. All the people think our image is about always bulls*****ing, playing around, but now some people know we are trying to talk about something. ''This is our attempt to prove we are serious, that it's now our ambition to be serious artists. Well . . . not that serious!''