Cypress Hill at House of Blues New Orleans!

Summary:  Cypress Hill.  In New Orleans.  House of Blues.  11/18.  Go.   We’ll miss exactly four minutes of this concert–the time it takes to be thrown out of the photo pit after the first three songs, return to our car to stash the camera gear, and re-enter as “civilians”.


Black Sunday by Cypress Hill


A lot of other people share our enthusiasm, but there are also haters and “frustrated” fans who wonder why we bother.  To understand the controversy and “disappointment”, some background. Cypress Hill has been together for over 20 years, having formed in 1989 and maintained their essential lineup throughout.  In 1989, they were the Hispanic hip-hop group and the world had never heard anything like B-Real’s crazy, sped-up nasal delivery.  Along the way, they’ve  released some of the best hip hop albums ever made–two that immediately come to mind are Black Sunday and Skull and Bones disk # 1, which would make our top 10 of all time, with III and IV not far behind.  Listen to Black Sunday, a dark, atmospheric, and intense album, and look at the cover, and you’re like, man–these are some crazy motherfuckers–lock the door!  It’s an amazing album, full of interesting voiceovers and foreboding sound effects.  And the power on Skull and Bones # 1 is a driving hazard–it ends up cranked up, speakers blown to hell, driver beating the steering wheel senseless–this is the real shit.  But Cypress Hill has also dabbled (and sometimes more than dabbled) in metal and hard rock (Skull and Bones disk # 2, parts of Stoned Raiders), dub-step (with the new EP collaboration with Rusko), some fairly silly but fun funk (e.g, see Lowrider on Stoned Raiders), and a host of other styles.  That stuff, for some people, is harder to evaluate, and their default reaction is “this isn’t Cypress Hill–it’s…” .  Thus the problem with making genre-defining albums like Black Sunday and then daring to “stray”.  Like hardcore punk fans, who immediately cried “sellout” when bands strayed from the formula, some fans want what they heard first and simply can’t grant the band any creative space.  Would we have freaked if Joey Ramone had lived longer and had a chance to try out his pop aspirations?  No printable comment.   Would we personally prefer a strings of albums like Black Sunday from Cypress Hill?  Sure.  It’s a lot to ask, though.  There might not be anymore of that, in an existential sense, although we hope that isn’t true.  But this band has already carved out a permanent place in hip hop, like Notorious B.I.G., Digable Planets, Dr. Dre. Artists who gave you something you never heard before. A little creative space is the least we can offer in return.

In the end, it’s Cypress Hill.  You (and we) are sure to get your dose of Insane in the Brain and Cock the Hammer, while giving them some space to explore. If you want to show up and help us scream “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That”, that’d be great.

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