Cypress Hill Weed Remarks
Cypress Hill has sold over 20 million records worldwide in the 30 years since its self-titled debut, becoming one of the most important and lasting rap acts of all time, West Coast-bred or not.
As a result, they far surpassed B-expectations. Real’s
In a recent virtual interview honoring Cypress Hill’s 30th anniversary, the rapper said, “We were just hoping that we produced something that we loved, that people enjoyed” (watch above). “I don’t believe any of us could have foreseen our success.” We were so unlike, and we were discussing marijuana, which was quite forbidden at the time. As a result, we assumed we’d be an underground band. We never considered going mainstream.”
Three years after N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton shifted the landscape of rap music to the left, but before Death Row Records and 2Pac would tilt the charts even more dramatically, the Los Angeles-based group, which also includes rapper Sen Dog and producer DJ Muggs, arrived at a crossroads for West Coast hip-hop.
From Queens native Muggs’ East Coast-flavored boom bap production to their emcees’ Spanglish bars to their combination of hardcore gun-clapping raps and fun-loving weed-smoking songs, B-Real claims that Cypress Hill’s “mystique” worked in their advantage.
He explains, “Our style was so distinct from a lot of other West Coast hip-hop groups, and even East Coast groups.” “No one knew who we were,” says the narrator. They had no idea who we were or where we came from. They were constantly making educated guesses. Were we New Yorkers? Were we from Los Angeles? Were we African-Americans, Latinos, or whites? It had a mystical quality to it.”
Meanwhile, their label, Sony, was unsure which Cypress Hill song would give them the largest boost.
They released “The Phuncky Feel One” as the first single on July 11, 1991, with the B-side being the eventual classic “How I Could Just Kill A Man.”
“We were on tour with Naughty By Nature, and they had us open for them,” B-Real remembers. “We were just sort of doing the grind as young artists do while our first songs and album were coming out.” “At first, ‘Phuncky Feel One’ didn’t get a lot of attention… When DJs discovered it was a double A-side and that they could flip the record and play ‘Kill a Man,’ that began to happen, and we gained momentum… Then we started charting.”
Because “How I Could Just Kill A Man” was suddenly gaining so much traction, Sony took them off the road with Naughty to shoot a video for it, as well as graphics for their next smash, the Gene Chandler-inspired “Hand On The Pump.”
“When he video went viral, it really altered everything,” he adds.
B-Real credits the global premiere of Juice, the 1992 crime thriller starring Omar Epps and Tupac Shakur and featuring them on the soundtrack, as the single largest epiphany he had around the group’s unexpected worldwide popularity.
“Everyone in the theater jumped up and started partying and dancing when that moment came on, then ‘Kill a Man’ came on,” he adds. “I was like, ‘Oh s**t,'” she says. That’s when it hit me when I watched people standing up for our song and dancing and getting down with it.”
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