By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
When B-Real, Sen Dog and producer DJ Muggs created their earliest beats, it was Muggs who urged the rappers to rhyme on weed as both lifestyle and mission statement. They were living it, and it was Muggs' vision to step beyond the gangsta pack and maybe appeal to the grunge masses.
On the group's 1991 debut was the first anthem, "Light Another," as B-Real taunted: "Wanna feel the effects of the high, brother? I'll light another." They later included marijuana-growing tips on the group Web site, but the Cypress view of drug culture couldn't have been further from the groovy good times of the Grateful Dead caravan. They were no hippies. N.W.A was a more relevant model for tales of madness and the violent life such as "How I Could Just Kill a Man." In those early days of struggling to be noticed, the trio rolled across the Midwest in a smoke-filled minivan, like a buzzed Cheech & Chong wandering your streets in a camper made of bud under the nose of police Sgt. Stedenko.
It all came natural, though not every audience got the message or the joke, Sen Dog recalls. "We definitely wanted to get the word out there and be almost freedom fighters for weed. When we first came out, and we were playing in New York, we had a blunt and were taking a puff. Girls would go 'Ewww,' and people went, 'Oh, my God, get out of here with that!' Five years later, the whole fucking club is burning blunts."
The new album is their first without a steady dose of Muggs; he has only two tracks on Rise Up. Though he remains a lifer for the cause (he even got Cypress banned from Saturday Night Live for lighting up on-air), he's now busy with other projects, a much in-demand producer considered a genius by many. "He's definitely always going to be a member of the band," B-Real says of Muggs. "He let Sen and myself do the creative part of it this time around to just get a different vibe, a different feel."
B-Real will carry on, first at Dr. Greenthumb's Spring Gathering festival with his wasted brethren Method Man and Redman, the Kottonmouth Kings and Fishbone, on May 8 at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino. He'll follow that with Cypress's two-day Smokeout Festival in October, featuring Slipknot, Cheech & Chong, Deftones and Bad Brains.
"It's good and bad," B-Real says of the ongoing pothead rep. "Obviously, some people look at you and think, 'Oh, I've got to do business with these fuckin' potheads.' On the other hand, our fans love us for it. And we're still rollin'."
And fans still approach bearing gifts. Eric Bobo was recently in line at a Glendale restaurant and a young woman, barely into her 20s, spotted him. She smiled and immediately offered a taste of her stash, a usually welcome suggestion. Yet the time was just wrong.
"I can't right now," he told her, gently shooing her away. "I'm here with my mom." Freedom to smoke: Cypress Hill
we met on cypress hill day 420 2010in hermosa beach at kroq wake and bakeat the cd signingb-real rubbed ny graffix tattoo its lucky lucky green leaf
cool dudesill always jump for them
Don't hate on Cypress. Their flavor and music made them pioneers in their own right and have proven themselves over the years. What does it really matter where they live now? I think they earned that right.
he lives in Northridge? that's pretty funny. kind of like that che guevara guy who used to write for the LA weekly and now lives in Woodland Hills.
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