Cypress Hill is an American hip hop group from South Gate, California. Originally called DVX, the name was changed after Mellow Man Ace left in 1988. Cypress Hill was the first Latino group to have platinum and multi-platinum albums and over the course of its history has sold more than 18 million albums worldwide, including more than 11 million records in the U.S. alone.
Cypress Hill's first album, called simply Cypress Hill, was released in August 1991. The lead single was "Phuncky Feel One," but it was the B-side "How I Could Just Kill A Man" which attracted more attention, receiving heavy airplay on urban and college radio. The other two singles released from the album were "Hand On The Pump" and "Latin Lingo", the latter of which combined English and Spanish lyrics. The success of these singles led to the album selling two million copies in the US alone. DJ Muggs, Cypress Hill's producer, subsequently produced House of Pain's first album, then worked on other Soul Assassins projects like Funkdoobiest. The band made their first appearance at Lollapalooza on the side stage in 1992.
Black Sunday, the group's second album, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in 1993, recording the highest Soundscan for a rap group up until that time. Also, with their debut still in the charts, they became the first rap group to have 2 albums in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 at the same time. With "Insane in the Brain" becoming a crossover hit, the album went triple platinum in the U.S. and sold about 3.25 million copies.
Cypress Hill was banned from Saturday Night Live after Muggs smoked a joint on-air and the band trashed their instruments while playing their second single "I Ain't Goin' Out Like That". The band headlined the "Soul Assassins" tour with House of Pain and Funkdoobiest as support, then performed on a college tour with Rage Against the Machine and Seven Year Bitch. In 1993, Cypress Hill also had two tracks on the Judgment Night soundtrack, teamed up with Pearl Jam and Sonic Youth.
The band played at the 1994 Woodstock Festival, introducing their new member Eric Bobo, formerly a percussionist with the Beastie Boys. Rolling Stone magazine named the band as the best rap group in their music awards voted by critics and readers. Cypress Hill played at Lollapalooza for two successive years, topping the bill in 1995. They also appeared on the The Simpsons episode "Homerpalooza". Prior to Bobo joining the crew, Panchito "Ponch" Gomez sat in as a percussionist when not acting.
Their third album Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom was released in 1995, selling 1.5 million copies and reaching number 3 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the hit single "Throw Your Set in the Air". Cypress Hill also contributed a track "I Wanna Get High" to the High Times sponsored Hempilation album to support NORML.
Sen Dog took a break from the band to form a Los Angeles based rap rock band SX-10. Meanwhile in 1996, Cypress Hill appeared on the first 'Smokin' Grooves' tour, featuring Ziggy Marley, The Fugees, Busta Rhymes and A Tribe Called Quest. The band also released a nine track EP Unreleased and Revamped with rare mixes. In 1997, band members focused on their solo careers. Muggs released Muggs Presents ... the Soul Assassins featuring contributions from Wu-Tang Clan members, Dr. Dre, KRS-One, Wyclef Jean and Mobb Deep. B-Real appeared with Busta Rhymes, Coolio, LL Cool J and Method Man on "Hit Em High" from the multi-platinum Space Jam Soundtrack. He also appeared with RBX, Nas and KRS-One on "East Coast Killer, West Coast Killer" on Dr. Dre's Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath album, and contributed to an album entitled "The Psycho Realm" with the band of the same name. Though the focus that year was not on Cypress Hill, the band played Smokin' Grooves with George Clinton and Erykah Badu.
Cypress Hill released IV in 1998 which went gold in the U.S., even though the reviews were somewhat negative, on the backs of hit singles "Tequila Sunrise" and another tribute to smoking cannabis "Dr. Greenthumb." Sen Dog also released the Get Wood sampler as part of SX-10 on the label Flip. In 1999, Cypress Hill helped with the PC crime/very mature video game Kingpin: Life of Crime. Three of their songs from the 1998 IV album were in the game ( "16 Men Till There's No Men Left", "Checkmate" and "Lightning Strikes"). B-Real also did some of the voices of the people in the game. Also in 1999, the band released a greatest-hits album in Spanish, Los grandes éxitos en español. Cypress Hill then fused genres with their two-disc release, Skull & Bones, in 2000. The first disc, "Skull" was composed of rap tracks while "Bones" explored further the group's forays into rock. The album reached the Top 5 on the Billboard 200 and number 3 in Canada. The first single was "Rock Superstar" for rock radio and "Rap Superstar" for urban radio. The band also released Live at the Fillmore, a concert disc recorded at the Fillmore (in San Francisco) in 2000. Cypress Hill continued their experimentation with rock on the Stoned Raiders album in 2001. However, its sales were a disappointment, as the disc did not even reach the top 50 of the U.S. album charts. In 2001, the group appeared in the film How High.
Cypress Hill recorded "Just Another Victim" for the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as a theme song for Tazz. At the time, WWE was using original music for almost all of the wrestlers, so this was an unusual step for the company to take, but it remains one of the more memorable songs to emerge from the wrestling organization. The band released Till Death Do Us Part on March 23, 2004. The album saw the band experiment with reggae especially on the lead single "What's Your Number". The track features Tim Armstrong of Rancid on guitar and backup vocals. It is based on the classic song "The Guns of Brixton" on The Clash's London Calling and has proven to be a success on the modern rock charts. However, the album represented a further departure from the signature sound of their first four albums. The album also features appearances by Damian Marley, son of Bob Marley, Prodigy and Twin of Mobb Deep and producer the Alchemist.
In 2004, the song How I Could Just Kill A Man was included in the popular videogame Grand Theft Auto San Andreas created by Rockstar Games, playing on West Coast hip hop radio station Radio Los Santos. In December 2005 a best of compilation album titled Greatest Hits From the Bong was released including 9 hits from previous albums and 2 new tracks. The group's next album was tentatively scheduled for an early 2007 release. In the summer of 2006, B-Real appeared on Snoop Dogg's single "Vato". Pharrell Williams produced the track, and originally sang the hook, but because of the video idea, B-Real was asked to sing the hook. Sen Dog is now currently touring with the Kottonmouth Kings, Kingspade and Dogboy on the Joint is on Fire Tour
In 2007 Cypress Hill toured with their full line up as a part of the Rock the Bells tour, held by Guerilla Union, and headlined with Public Enemy, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and a reunited Rage Against the Machine. Other acts included Immortal Technique, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The Roots, EPMD, Pharoahe Monch, Jedi Mind Tricks, Erykah Badu, MF Doom, Sage Francis, Brother Ali, The Coup, Blue Print, Lucky I Am, Living Legends, Felt, Cage, Mr. Lif, Grouch & Eligh, and Hangar 18.
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