April 25, 2000 |
** CYPRESS HILL "Skull & Bones" Columbia On its fifth full-length studio album (in stores today), the Los Angeles quartet abandons its trailblazing ways in favor of a safer, more predictable approach. There's nothing wrong with attempting to fit in with contemporary sounds, but Cypress Hill's new direction pales next to its normally abrasive, raucous sonic and lyrical agenda.
February 25, 1996 |
CYPRESS STILL: With Cypress Hill coming to town for a Universal Amphitheatre show next Sunday, word was coming in from the road that the hemped-up hip-hop trio was splitting. In fact, reports from some shows were that the group had already broken up in everything but name, as rapper B Real was the only member actually performing. Not true, says Cypress Hill manager Happy Walters.
March 22, 1992 |
"Man, this joint ain't nothin'," says a chuckling B-Real of the rap trio Cypress Hill, taking a deep drag from his marijuana cigarette. "Bob Marley and Peter Tosh and those reggae singers--they had joints that make this look like a toothpick." Sitting in a Century City office with his feet up on the table, B-Real, 22, does nothing to hide his pot-smoking. Not only does Cypress Hill brazenly smoke pot on stage (never encountering arrest), the group also calls for its legalization.
September 5, 1992 |
"Don't put too much stress on that Irish thing," cautioned Danny (Danny Boy) O'Connor of the Irish-American rap group House of Pain. "It's hip to be the first Irish rap act. People pay attention to you." That attention has translated into record sales. The group's debut album, "House of Pain," featuring its Top 10 single, "Jump Around," is in the pop Top 15. House of Pain's Irish "thing" has been hyped heavily.
April 25, 1998 |
The minimal beats on the Goodie MOb's 1995 debut, "Soul Food," supported thought-provoking lyrics inflected with premillennial dread, black love and spirituality. But the naughty girl party raps of Li'l Kim and Foxy Brown, as well as Mafioso posturing of male counterparts too many to name ruled the airwaves then, overshadowing this Atlanta-based quartet's uplifting messages. "Still Standing" marks its revisited attempts at brothers' keeper hip-hop.
October 22, 1995 |
CYPRESS HILL, "Cypress Hill III (Temple of Boom)"; Ruffhouse/Sony (*** 1/2) Other groups may catch the political heat, but Cypress Hill is every bit as gangsta as its hard-core brethren--and just as funky. "III" finds the South Gate trio the same as they ever were: hooked on B-Real and Sen-Dog's tales of gunfights, reputation tests and potent marijuana, their sound smoothed out with DJ Muggs' engaging mix of horn bleats, eerie synthesizer squeals and snapping drum kicks.
August 15, 1999 |
Tricky is a modern bluesman who reaches out to us with all sorts of stark and subtle dance music shadings rather than old guitar wails, and he has delivered two of the most compelling albums of the decade in 1995's "Maxinquaye" and last year's "Angels With Dirty Faces." This album, which will be released Tuesday, isn't in that class.