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Interview:
New Album Puffs Up Cypress Hill
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Cypress Hill took an unprecedented six years between its last album, “Till Death Do Us Part,” and this year’s “Rise Up.” But with solo albums by rappers B-Real and Sen Dog and percussionist Eric Bobo, as well as DJ Muggs’ assorted projects, the long-lived Los Angeles troupe was anything but idle.

“We never really take this long off, you know,” says B-Real (real name Louis Freese), 40. “Our longest time off is in a two-, three-year span. But we were still active, ‘cause we were doing those solo projects but we were doing Cypress Hill shows in Europe and various places across the country and stuff.

“So we kept active, just not recording. We knew it would happen again.”

Part of the delay, he explains, was on the group’s business side. Cypress Hill parted ways with its longtime label home, Columbia Records, in 2005, and took its time looking for a new situation. But when colleague Snoop Dogg took over at Priority/EMI, it was a natural fit.

“Snoop’s been a longtime friend of ours, and we’ve done a lot of things with Snoop,” B-Real says. “What we’ve always talked about was bringing the West Coast back to prominence in the realm of hip-hop music or rap music or whatnot.

“And the fact that Priority was re-launching and Priority had so much to do with West Coast hip-hop success and the history of what we’ve been able to do in the West, it only seemed fitting for us to be here. When you put that together, it’s just like a recipe for success.”

“Rise Up,” which debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard 200 chart after its late April release, features guest appearances by Rage Against The Machine/Street Sweeper Social Club guitarist Tom Morello, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, System of a Down’s Daron Malakian, Everlast, Pitbull, Marc Anthony and Cheech & Chong, among others.



Cypress Hill performs with Slightly Stoopid and Collie Buddz on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $29.50. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.



Web Site: www.livenation.com

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