Label: Ruffhouse Records
Producer: DJ Muggs & RZA
Cypress Hill is one of the rare groups whose bold innovations paid off with popular success. Instead of following up the smash hit Black Sunday with more of the same, they created the murky rap opus that is Temples of Boom. DJ Muggs had provided Cypress Hill and Black Sunday with uptempo funk beats, but here he turns towards the skeletal piano loops of “Killafornia” and “Stoned Raiders.” RZA and U-God guest on “Killa Hill N***as,” but the influence of Wu-Tang is felt throughout the album, especially on the spare, spooky guitar of “Illusions.” In terms of subject matter, Temples of Boom is meaner than its predecessors. The group’s psychotic roughhousing is displayed on “Throw Your Set In the Air,” “Red Light Visions” and “Let It Rain,” but “No Rest for the Wicked”— a vicious assault on fellow L.A. rappers Ice Cube and Westside Connection — brings out a frightening rage in B-Real and Sen Dog. The band’s love for smoked-out ambiance comes through in the jazzy “Boom Biddy Bye Bye,” “Funk
Freakers” and “Everybody Must Get Stoned,” but Temples of Boom shows the band’s marijuana celebration morphing into a vivid subterranean paranoia.