:: Cypress Hill :: Rock the Bells Tour with Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Talib Kweli and more :: Red Rocks Amphitheatre :: August 22 ::
By DJ Hippie
Cypress Hill hasn’t been the most prolific band over the last few years but their influence on hip-hop is eternally monumental. Despite the fact that they are known to the masses as a stoner band, Cypress Hill, comprised of rappers B-real, Sen Dog and turntableist DJ Muggs, is one of the more calculating and business savvy crews in the rap game, as their career longevity makes evident.
That considered, it is no surprise that rapper Sen Dog — who spoke to The Marquee while ordering his family lunch at a McDonald’s drive-through — is unfazed by the various critics that are saying rap has run its course. “That’s total horseshit and it’s totally off line. Every few years that same argument comes up and it is just false. Hip-hop will still continue to flourish, you can’t put a time and date on its demise,” said Dog.
In fact, it seems rap is currently enjoying resurgence in popularity. In addition to high profile tours by the Beastie Boys and Snoop Dogg, this summer finds Cypress Hill performing alongside the legendary Wu-Tang Clan (who will be releasing a new album, 8 Diagrams, later this year) on the first nationwide run of the Rock the Bells festival. “It’s a big deal to be playing with the Wu, they have a legendary existence. When Wu-Tang came along it was like a brand new thing with all those MC’s in one group and that’s how a lot of us started out. My first group had six rappers, so to get out on tour with Wu-Tang is a big thing for us,” said Dog.
Like Wu-Tang, Cypress Hill also has plans to release a new album soon. While the band’s website is currently touting a late 2007 release, Dog said fans may have to wait a little bit longer to hear new music. “I think we are going to take a little more time. We have all been doing our own things but we are starting to get some beats together and are deciding what direction we want to take with the album. It’s a really vital album for us,” he said.
While fans here in Denver won’t get to see it, several of the shows on the Rock the Bells Tour will be featuring the politically charged reunion of Rage Against the Machine. According to a press release announcing the reunion shows, taking place in the political hotbeds of California and New York, the tour dates are meant to deliver a “death blow” to the current Republican administration just in time for the 2008 election. That suits Cypress Hill just fine, who will also be delivering their own political message. “It’s an honor to be playing with Rage. Cypress Hill and Rage Against the Machine were both very vital in the ’90s, as far as cutting edge bands,” said Dog. “As far as our politics, that’s the legalization [of marijuana]thing, but other than that we try not to get too tripped up in global politics.”
Even so, being that Cypress Hill was one of the first well known bands to incorporate Latin lyrics and influences into mainstream hip-hop, you can’t help but wonder where the band stands on the currently raging immigration debate. “I’m not gonna speak too much on that issue, but I know this a country where people want to come and make a better life for themselves and that’s why my family wanted to move us here when I was younger,” said Dog, who, along with his brother and fellow rapper Mellow Man Ace, was born in Cuba. “America’s freedom is not just for white people but for people all down the line.”
:: Cypress Hill:
:: Rock the Bells Tour with Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Talib Kweli and more ::
:: Red Rocks Amphitheatre :: August 22 ::
Spectate if you Gravitate:
• Wu-Tang Clan
• Beastie Boys
• House of Pain