August 25, 1993 |
It's no mystery to Cypress Hill, the South Gate hip-hop trio, why its "Black Sunday" album entered the pop charts at No. 1, blowing away such superstar competition as U2 and Barbra Streisand. In a word: cannabis. "We smoke pot and we rap about it," said Sen Dog, the trio's 27-year-old Latino rapper whose real name is Senen Reyes. "That's what gives Cypress Hill our bugged-out edge." Puffing on a joint in his manager's West Hollywood office, Cypress Hill cohort B-Real agreed.
May 6, 2000 |
'N Sync may rule the national charts, but when South Gate-spawned Cypress Hill hits the stores, the rap group's home turf responds. "Skull & Bones," which includes the radio hit "Rock (Superstar)," debuts at No. 1 on the new Southern California sales chart. Another artist who made his name in L.A., Neil Young, came up just short of the Top 10 with his new "Silver & Gold," ranking No. 12 in the region. The album is No. 22 nationally.
October 28, 1993 |
Unlike certain other leaders in various fields, the members of Cypress Hill most definitely inhaled. And the rap world has never been quite the same. No pop-music enterprise this side of Jamaica's spliff-wielding reggae musicians has made marijuana such a central image and issue in its identity as this South Gate trio, and that's one big reason they have sold a few million albums since hitting the scene in 1991 with their "Cypress Hill" album.
April 25, 2000 |
Cypress Hill is in control. Control, y'all. That's secret No. 1 to being a rap group with 10 successful years behind you, in a ruthlessly trendy industry where new acts come and go with hummingbird speed. Secret No. 2, they say, is the support of cannabis smokers the world over. No joke. As was the case with the Grateful Dead, the evil weed is a cornerstone of Cypress Hill's lyrics and stage show, and lead rapper B-Real credits a huge core fan base of potheads for his group's enduring success.
May 4, 1997 |
To track down Cypress Hill member Muggs at the group's headquarters, you have to maneuver through a labyrinth of one-way streets and alleys to a dead-end corner of an industrial strip just east of downtown Los Angeles. With its dilapidated front stoop, the two-story building looks like an abandoned warehouse--not what you would expect for the home base of one of hip-hop's most respected and successful groups.
August 18, 2011
MUSIC Traveling hip-hop festival Rock the Bells is taking a page out of the genre's history books by focusing on a set of game-changing albums for this year's showcase. Though still relatively downsized from lineups of the past, a who's who of rap royalty, including Lauryn Hill, Nas, Cypress Hill, Mos Def and Talib Kweli, Mobb Deep, Raekwon and Ghostface, and the GZA, headline the bill for the eighth year of the multi-city festival. San Manuel Amphitheater, 2575 Glen Helen Parkway, San Bernardino.
October 8, 2001 |
If the nation's war on drugs takes a back seat to the war on terrorism, Cypress Hill probably won't even notice the difference. The local rap crew has been blatantly celebrating the virtues of marijuana for more than a decade, and while their pro-legalization stance is clear, their rhymes are more cannabis-love odes than activist rants. Four years ago, the group decided to gather some of their favorite acts for Smokeout, an all-day, "mind-opening" music festival.
November 19, 1995 |
Louis (B-Real) Freese, leader of the hugely successful rap group Cypress Hill, likes to show visitors the bomba that he keeps in the garage of his secluded Hollywood Hills home. It's a 38-year-old hulk of steel that Freese and a few Eastside carnales have painstakingly refurbished from scratch, using wires and chrome parts to ensure that the two-ton mechanism is in perfect working order.
October 2, 1998 |
*** 1/2 Cypress Hill, "IV," RuffHouse/Columbia. Cypress. Hill's 1991 self-titled debut album is one of the decade's most influential hip-hop records. Rappers B-Real and Sen Dog and producer Muggs created their own niche in the segmented hip-hop market by introducing an abundance of marijuana references and a warped, psychedelic production style into their street-level entertainment. The album thrust the Los Angeles-based crew into hip-hop's elite.