Cypress Hill Overview
Cypress Hill is an American hip hop Hip hop music group from South Gate, California. Originally called DVX, the name was changed after Mellow Man Ace left in 1988.
Early works and mainstream success (1989–1995)
After recording a demo in 1989,
Black Sunday Black Sunday (album) , the group's second album, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in 1993, recording the highest Soundscan for a rap group up until that time. Also, with their debut still in the charts, they became the first rap group to have 2 albums in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 at the same time. With "Insane in the Brain" becoming a crossover hit, the album went triple platinum in the U.S. and sold about 3.25 million copies.
Cypress Hill was banned from Saturday Night Live after Muggs smoked a joint on-air and the band trashed their instruments while playing their second single "I Ain't Goin' Out Like That". The band headlined the "Soul Assassins" tour with House of Pain and Funkdoobiest as support, then performed on a college tour with Rage Against the Machine and Seven Year Bitch. In 1993, Cypress Hill also had two tracks on the Judgment Night Judgment Night (film) soundtrack, teamed up with Pearl Jam and Sonic Youth.
The band played at the 1994 Woodstock Festival, introducing their new member Eric Bobo, formerly a percussionist with the Beastie Boys. Rolling Stone magazine named the band as the best rap group in their music awards voted by critics and readers. Cypress Hill played at Lollapalooza for two successive years, topping the bill in 1995. They also appeared on the The Simpsons episode "Homerpalooza". Prior to Bobo joining the crew, Panchito "Ponch" Gomez sat in as a percussionist when not acting.
Their third album III: Temples of Boom was released in 1995, selling 1.5 million copies and reaching number 3 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the hit single "Throw Your Set in the Air" . Cypress Hill also contributed a track "I Wanna Get High" to the High Times sponsored Hempilation album to support NORML National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws .
Continued career (1996–2002)
Sen Dog took a break from the band to form a Los Angeles based rap rock band SX-10. Meanwhile in 1996, Cypress Hill appeared on the first 'Smokin' Grooves' tour, featuring Ziggy Marley, The Fugees, Busta Rhymes and A Tribe Called Quest. The band also released a nine track EP Unreleased and Revamped with rare mixes. In 1997, band members focused on their solo careers. Muggs released Muggs Presents ... the Soul Assassins featuring contributions Dr. Dre, KRS-One, Wyclef Jean and Mobb Deep. B-Real appeared with Busta Rhymes, Coolio, LL Cool J and Method Man on "Hit Em High" from the multi-platinum Space Jam Soundtrack Space Jam (soundtrack) . He also appeared with RBX, Nas and KRS-One on "East Coast Killer, West Coast Killer" on Dr. Dre's Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath album, and contributed to an album entitled "The Psycho Realm" with the band of the same name. Though the focus that year was not on Cypress Hill, the band played Smokin' Grooves with George Clinton George Clinton (funk musician) and Erykah Badu.
Cypress Hill released IV IV (Cypress Hill album) in 1998 which went gold in the U.S., on the backs of hit singles "Tequila Sunrise" and another tribute to smoking cannabis "Dr. Greenthumb." Sen Dog also released the Get Wood sampler as part of SX-10 on the label Flip. In 1999, Cypress Hill helped with the PC Personal computer crime/very mature video game Kingpin: Life of Crime. Three of their songs from the 1998 IV album were in the game ( "16 Men Till There's No Men Left", "Checkmate" and "Lightning Strikes"). B-Real also did some of the voices of the people in the game. Also in 1999, the band released a greatest-hits album in Spanish, Los grandes éxitos en español. In 2000, Cypress Hill then fused genres with their fifth album, Skull & Bones Skull & Bones (album) , which was a two-disc album. The first disc, "Skull" was composed of rap tracks while "Bones" explored further the group's forays into rock. The album reached the Top 5 on the Billboard Billboard magazine 200 and number 3 in Canada. The first single was "Rock Superstar" for rock radio and "Rap Superstar" for urban radio. Following the release of the album, Cypress Hill (along with MxPx) landed a slot opening for The Offspring on the Conspiracy of One tour. The band also released Live at the Fillmore Live at the Fillmore (Cypress Hill album) , a concert disc recorded at the Fillmore (in San Francisco) in 2000. Cypress Hill continued their experimentation with rock on the Stoned Raiders album in 2001. However, its sales were a disappointment, as the disc did not even reach the top 50 of the U.S. album charts. In 2001, the group appeared in the film How High.
Till Death Do Us Part (2003–2007)
Cypress Hill recorded "Just Another Victim" for the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as a theme song for Tazz. At the time, WWE was using original music for almost all of the wrestlers, so this was an unusual step for the company to take, but it remains one of the more memorable songs to emerge from the wrestling organization. The band released Till Death Do Us Part Till Death Do Us Part (Cypress Hill album) on March 23, 2004. The album saw the band experiment with reggae especially on the lead single "What's Your Number". The track features Tim Armstrong of Rancid Rancid (band) on guitar and backup vocals. It is based on the classic song "The Guns of Brixton" on The Clash's London Calling and has proven to be a success on the modern rock charts. However, the album represented a further departure from the signature sound of their first four albums. The album also features appearances by Damian Marley, son of Bob Marley, Prodigy and Twin of Mobb Deep and producer the Alchemist The Alchemist (producer) .
In 2004, the song How I Could Just Kill A Man was included in the po***r videogame Grand Theft Auto San Andreas created by Rockstar Games, playing on West Coast hip hop radio station Radio Los Santos. In December 2005 a best of compilation album titled Greatest Hits From the Bong was released including 9 hits from previous albums and 2 new tracks. The group's next album was tentatively scheduled for an early 2007 release. In the summer of 2006, B-Real appeared on Snoop Dogg's single "Vato". Pharrell Williams produced the track, and originally sang the hook, but because of the video idea, B-Real was asked to sing the hook. Sen Dog is now currently touring with the Kottonmouth Kings, Kingspade and Dogboy on the Joint is on Fire Tour.
In 2007 Cypress Hill toured with their full line up as a part of the Rock the Bells tour, held by Guerilla Union, and headlined with Public Enemy Public Enemy (band) , Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and a reunited Rage Against the Machine. Other acts included Immortal Technique, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The Roots, EPMD, Pharoahe Monch, Jedi Mind Tricks, Erykah Badu, MF Doom, Sage Francis, Brother Ali, The Coup, Blue Print, Lucky I Am, Living Legends, Felt, Cage, Mr. Lif, Grouch & Eligh, and Hangar 18.
Departure from Sony and Rise Up (2008–present)
Having fulfilled their contractual obligations with Sony Music, Cypress Hill were to release their new album through a different record label in 2009.
On July 25, 2008, Cypress Hill performed at a benefit concert at the House of Blues Chicago, where a majority of the proceeds went to the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness.
In August 2009, a new song by Cypress Hill, titled "Get 'Em Up", was made available on iTunes. The song is featured on the Madden NFL 2010 video game and was available for free download for a limited time.
In November 2009, a new version of Guns N'Roses classic "Paradise City" performed by Cypress Hill, Slash Slash (musician) and Fergie Stacy Ferguson was made available as a bonus track to Slash's single "Sahara Sahara (Slash song) ". Cypress Hill will also perform a song on Slash's solo album Slash Slash (album) .
Cypress Hill's eighth studio album, Rise Up Rise Up (Cypress Hill album) , will feature contributions from Slash Slash (musician) , Tom Morello and Mike Shinoda. The album will be released on 'Priority Records/EMI Entertainment Priority Records ', as the group was signed to the label by new Creative Chairman Snoop Dogg on January 15, 2010. The album is now set for release on April 20, 2010. The album's introduction single, "It Ain't Nothin'" was released as a free download from the group's official website. The song "Rise Up" was featured at WWE's pay-per-view, WWE Elimination Chamber, as the official theme song for that event, and was released as the first official single from the album.
One of the band's most striking aspects is B-Real's exaggeratedly high-pitched nasal vocals. ears" and talking about the nasal style in the book How to Rap, B-Real says, "you want to stand out from the others and just be distinct... when you got something that can separate you from everybody else, you gotta use it to your advantage". Sen Dog's vocals are deeper and are a contrast to B-Real's, who says, "[Sen's] voice is so strong", "but it all blends together" when they are both on the same track.
Both B-Real and Sen Dog started writing lyrics in both Spanish and English and B-Real was inspired to start writing raps from watching Sen Dog and Mellow Man Ace writing their lyrics, and originally B-Real was going to just be the writer for the group rather than a rapper. Their lyrics are noted for bringing a "cartoonish" approach to violence by Peter Shapiro Peter Shapiro (journalist) and Allmusic
Sen Dog's lyrics are progressively more violent and tend to involve fewer rhyme schemes compared with B-Real's . In addition words are emphasized by adding a background voice to say them; however, Sen Dog's emphases are always more prominent, mostly shouted alongside with the rapping .
The sound and groove of their music, produced by Muggs, is also notable for its influence and stoned aesthetic; with its bass-heavy rhythms and odd sample loops ("Insane in the Brain" is notable for having a pitched-altered horse neigh looped in its chorus), it carries a psychedelic Skinza value, which lessened in the later albums.
The band is also known for involving rock instruments in their songs – this has caused the band to sometimes be classified as a Rap rock group.
The band's music is constantly subject to change; while the first album follows a more minimalistic and funky sound, Black Sunday, the successor, has a slightly darker side to it. III (Temples of Boom) and IV are mostly influenced by psychedelic music. The band abandoned that on Skull & Bones and got closer to the modern rap as it is today.
The band involves horns in their songs, and often have guitar and horns together in the instrumentals. What's Your Number?, Trouble, Tequila Sunrise, and (Rock) Superstar have become some of the bands most po***r songs featuring these elements. Cypress Hill's experimenting in different genres of music even includes reggaeton in their track "Latin Thugs," which features Tego Calderon.
Notable side projects include B-Real's Rap/Metal group Kush who are as yet to release any official material as well as Eric Bobo's group Sol Invicto which mixes metal/drum & bass ft Stephen Carpenter of the Deftones and producer Richie Londres of C.L.P album due out April 2010.* 1991: Cypress Hill Cypress Hill (album) (2x Platinum)
* 1993: Black Sunday Black Sunday (album) (3x Platinum)
* 1995: III: Temples of Boom (Platinum)
* 1998: IV Cypress Hill IV (Gold)
* 1999: Los Grandes Éxitos en Español (compilation album)
* 2000: Skull & Bones Skull & Bones (album) (Platinum)
* 2001: Stoned Raiders
* 2004: Till Death Do Us Part Till Death Do Us Part (Cypress Hill album)
* 2010: Rise Up Rise Up (Cypress Hill album)
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