"Till Death Do Us Part"
In Stores Now!
"My game's so strong/I can't go wrong" ("Till Death Comes")
Since the group's formation
in 1988, the pioneering rap-rock quartet Cypress Hill -- founders B-Real (Louis
Freese), DJ Muggs (Lawrence Muggerud) and Sen Dog (Senen Reyes), along with
newest member Eric Bobo -- have come a long way from the streets of South
Central L.A. Over the course of its 15-year history, Cypress Hill has sold
more than 15 million albums worldwide; garnered 15 multi-platinum, platinum
and gold certifications from the RIAA; headlined Lollapalooza, Woodstock and
the group's own Smokin' Grooves tour; and appeared on "Saturday Night
Live," among other shows, all while breaking down the barriers between
hip-hop, alternative, metal, rock, reggae, ska and Latin music.
"It's maturity and growth," agrees Muggs. "We didn't want to tread the same water or make the same record. Cypress Hill has always been known as trend-setters and I just think it was time for the band to try something different. To create our own world within a world again. We don't jump on any bandwagons. We don't just make hit records. We make classic records that stand the test of time." Songs like the horrorcore "Never Know" continue to walk the tightrope between street cred and mainstream success with an approach that draws on the band's gangsta history. "I just might die tonight/So let's get high tonight/Might try to fight...You hold tight to life/But you ain't afraid, man."
"That's the way we present everything," says B. "When Muggs gives me a beat, I let it come to me and whatever comes out, comes out. Usually, certain sounds touch off something that reminds me of what I did or saw back in the day. "The production and how I write go hand-in-hand. We've been at it a long time, so we try to keep it interesting, try to find new sonic and lyrical directions. Because there's so much competition out there now, you have to come up with something better."
"I'm always listening to different kinds of music," says Muggs. "I'm still a student of the game. I read books, watch movies and study life. Then try to interpret what I'm going through and put it in my music. I've been trying to get more visual in my writing."
The sing-song dub reggae track "Busted in the Hood" is a prime example. Muggs turns the Beastie Boys' old-school nursery rhyme refrain, "Here's a little story..." into an anti-hard drug tune whose animated B-Real rap recalls the band's very first hit, "How I Could Just Kill a Man." "That was a song I used to sing in the neighborhood back in the day," says Muggs. "It's something I came up with and it meshed good."
"I'm pleased with where we're headed right now," adds Muggs. "After 15 years, it's not always easy to stick together as a band. Standing that test of time is some s***.... We're just a dysfunctional family, like most of 'em are. That's all we know. It's what we grew up learning. How could we be anything else? You can argue all day long, but at the end of the day, we still have that family love. I mean, we're still all here doing it."
"We struck a chord with some people," Sen Dog observes. "I think if we just remained a straight-up rap group, I can't tell you if we'd still be around. We started the rap mosh pits and I think the natural thing was for our sound to get heavier. We figured the audience was already killing themselves over Muggs' rap tracks, so let's turn the heat up."
With Till Death Do Us Part, Cypress Hill proves that these guys are in the game for the long haul... for real.
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