Kings of the hill



Think CYPRESS HILL, think dope. Not any more. Apparently, they've cast the demon weed into the darkness.

Words: Jonathan Trew

The last titne that hip hop crew Cypress Hill played Barrowland. the Worshipful Brethren of Hemp Enthusiasts turned out in force to pay homage to the LA-based. patron saints of sensimilla. Wearing the ceremonial costume combination of the hooded top and unfeasibly voluminous strides. the somewhat befuddled faithful drew deep upon the stored wisdom bestowed by the bud and pronounced the gig ‘aye. er. it’s dope. like. What'.".

Needless to say songs like ‘Hits From The Bong‘ and ‘Stoned Is The Way Of The Walk‘ provoked the biggest cheer. ()r at least they did from those whose short term memories weren‘t so shot that they couldn‘t remember what the songs were about anyway.

Speaking of memories. if you can cast your mind back through the mists of time to 1991. then you may recall Cypress Hill becoming the official musical spokesemen for NORML. the National Organisation to Reform Marijuana Laws. In short. B- Real. Muggs. Sen Dog (who‘s recently returned to the Cypress fold after doing some solo work) as well as newish recruit Bobo. have built a multi-platinum recording career on an enthusiastic embrace of dope-

smoking culture.

Taking all this into account. when B-Real mutters the words ‘l‘d give up the weed‘. it‘s a bit like hearing Shane McGowan say ‘Naw. just a mineral water for me. please‘.

Even Muggs has momentarily stopped rolling ‘em up. ‘When I did all the beats. I wasn’t high.‘ he volunteers about the recording of their recently I released fourth album. the imaginatively titled IV.

54 THE llST 3—17 Dec 1998

'We're cocky over there with each other. Everybody's looking to swing their dick and see who they're gonna hit with it.’ B-Real

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Cypress Hill: allegedly weed-free

‘Not for the whole album. ljust figured I needed to stop for a while. Just something I needed to do.‘

‘Yeah. we've slowed down some.’ concurs B- Real.

Since neither of them appear to be crossing their fingers behind their backs as they say this. nor do they burst into helpless fits of laughter after they‘ve said it. we‘ll have to assume that the band who could give Howard Marks a stiff rttn for his money in the toking stakes mean what they say. .lust don't be surprised if news reports about squads of flying porkers start appearing on the Sir () (lot-k News.

Weed withdrawal aside. all seems to be well in. the Cypress camp. B-Real quasth any rumours that the band may split up with a weary sigh.

‘We wanna keep making quality records. so we don‘t plan to break up any time soon.‘ he considers. 'We‘re happy working together. it‘s just that for a tninute we had to do a couple of things to satisfy ourselves as growing artists but we work best together.’

Just as importantly. Cypress Hill have settled their long-running feud with lee (‘ube but. in true hip hop fashion. they seem to have sparked another one with Madonna. The American hip hop obsession with ‘keeping it real’ (a concept that seems as laughable in Britain as the idea of there being a definable British hip hop lifestyle) often seems to translate as being in a permanent state of bristling aggression.

‘We‘re cocky over there with each other.’ explains B— Real. ’liyc‘t'ybody‘s looking to swing their dick and see who they‘re gonna hit with it.’

As to the state of British hip hop. usually deservedly seen as the poor cousin to the American model. Muggs reckons it‘s time that us Limeys stopped clinging onto the belt chains of the big boys on the other side of the Atlantic.

‘The only problem I seen with the rap out here is they try to use a lot of American slang when y’all got your own slang. your own style. your own way of living.‘ says Muggs. ‘I like it because it's different from me. so if they can just come across with they slang and talk about they lifestyle they'd get a lot more accepted in the States.‘

Cypress Hill play Glasgow Barrowland, Sun 13 Dec.

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