As dank, sticky and heady as the weed that has famously fuelled them, there’s a particular quality to a Cypress Hill track – one that has endured in a career of more than 30 years. To mark the release of 10th album Back in Black, the trio’s MC B-Real will be joining us to answer your questions.
He joined the coalescing group in south-central Los Angeles in 1988, and their 1991 self-titled debut album was an instant hit. B-Real is of Mexican and Cuban heritage and mic partner Sen Dog also has Cuban roots, and the pair, backed by producer DJ Muggs, brought Hispanic lyricism and slang into their songs of gunplay and peacocking; their flow was simultaneously laid back and propulsive, and B-Real’s nasal, needling timbre was particularly novel.
The breakthrough teed up second album Black Sunday, which went straight to No 1 in the US, powered in part by signature track Insane in the Brain. Other tracks, such as I Ain’t Goin Out Like That, with its eerie guitar feedback, showed how DJ Muggs was drawn to rock textures, and the group further marked themselves out with collaborations with Pearl Jam and Sonic Youth, and a tour with Rage Against the Machine.
In 2000, they gave this impulse full rein on Skull & Bones, a double album that featured an entire side of rock tracks. Its single Superstar – recorded in rock and rap versions with Eminem and Deftones’ Chino Moreno among the guests – became their biggest UK chart hit, reaching No 13. This summer, they’ll further underline their rock affinity by touring with Slipknot in the US.
Cypress Hill stretched their genre boundaries further with the reggae-influenced Till Death Do Us Part in 2004, and later stepped into dance music with collaborators Rusko and Deadmau5. DJ Muggs has come and gone over the years – Back in Black is produced instead by Black Milk – and B-Real spent time in supergroup Prophets of Rage with members of Public Enemy and Rage Against the Machine, but Cypress Hill have never gone on hiatus, and that mic-swapping between B-Real and Sen Dog is just as gleeful as it’s ever been.
Head to The Guardian to post your questions.