Cypress Hill Are Releasing Their 1st Album In 8 Years. The 1st Video Is A Trip.
It has been eight years since Cypress Hill’s last album, Rise Up. That 2010 effort marked a transitional period for B-Real, Sen Dog, DJ Muggs, and percussionist Eric Bobo. While Muggs co-produced two songs on the Priority Records LP, the Hill welcomed in outside sound providers ranging from Pete Rock and Tom Morello to Mike Shinoda and Jake One. Moreover, B-Real stepped behind the boards for more than half the album, often sharing the tasks with some of the guest beat-makers.
Few early ’90s groups with an in-house DJ/producer make such a move. A great deal of Cypress Hill’s acclaim came from Muggs’ unique sampling, Rock, Funk, and Psychedelic grooves. Ice Cube, House Of Pain, and MC Eiht were just some of the Rap peers who sought out these sounds in the ’90s. In 2017, it was reported that Elephants On Acid put the Queens, New Yorker (who had cemented a celebrated solo and collaborative catalog) back at the sonic helm.
Last year, Cypress also released a video single (“Reefer Man”) for DJ Pooh’s Grow House soundtrack. However, today (August 3), Heads get a first look and listen from Elephants…, and it is a pleasant return from one of Rap’s most trusted brands. “Band Of Gypsies,” which is also the name of a famed 1970 Jimi Hendrix live album, shows what’s been going on up the Hill.
According to Variety, the album will arrive September 28 and is an extension of a new deal with BMG Records. “With a band like Cypress Hill, you kind of try to avoid [sampling] because it can hold up your record,” Muggs tells Rolling Stone. “So I had to build the record sonically like a Cypress Hill grimy-ass dirty f*ckin’ Hip-Hop record like the sh*t I like. But I had to use live sh*t. So I played a lot of sh*t myself. I had people come in and play, but I know how to freak my sh*t to make it sound like samples…I got a couple players that come in that are pro. I just pound on the f*cking keyboards and play all the crazy sh*t that you might hear that’s smoked the f*ck out.” With fuzzed out sounds that sound robust, Sen Dog and Dr. Greenthumb do what they do best for this monumental reunion of sorts.
On 1991’s Cypress Hill and 1993’s Black Sunday (which just celebrated its 25th birthday), Muggs was more liberal with the sampling. Rolling Stone reports how Muggs recorded this new song as part of a batch made in Egypt, often using street musicians for the roles ofoud, sitar, guitar, keyboard, and flute.
Other parts of the LP were recorded in California’s Joshua Tree desert. For those sessions, Muggs worked with psyche Hip-Hop producer, Gonjasufi (Shabazz Palaces, Awol One, Moor Mother).
Honoring Black Sunday, Cypress Hill has teamed with Beastie Boys’ turntablist and Invisibl Skratch Piklz co-founder Mixmaster Mike to perform the RuffHouse/Sony Records LP in its entirety at Chicago’s Riot Fest on September 14. Around Halloween, between dates in South America, Mexico, and the U.K., they will hit Los Angeles and New York for the annual Haunted Hill shows.
Next week (August 10), Muggs will also release Dia Del Asesinato. The LP features Raekwon, Freddie Gibbs, Kool G Rap, and MF DOOM. Since the last album, B-Real formed Prophets Of Rage with Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord, along with Rage Against The Machine alums Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk.