Cypress Hill & DJ Muggs

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Cypress Hill (1991), 7/10
Black Sunday (1993), 6.5/10
Temples of Boom (1995), 6.5/10
IV (1998), 6/10
Skull & Bones (2000), 6/10
Stoned Raiders (2001), 4/10
Till Death Do Us Part (2004), 4/10
DJ Muggs: Presents the Soul Assassins (1997), 6/10
DJ Muggs: Soul Assassins Chapter 2 (2000), 5/10
DJ Muggs: Dust (2003), 4/10
DJ Muggs: Intermission (2009), 4/10
Rise Up (2010), 4/10
Elephants on Acid (2018), 4.5/10
Dia del Asesinato (2018), 4.5/10

Los Angeles rap possibly reached its artistic peak of the 1990s with Cypress Hill's hyper-depressed trilogy of Cypress Hill (1992), with How I Could Just Kill a Man and The Phuncky Feel One, Black Sunday (1993), with the hit Insane in the Brain, and Temples of Boom (1995). The group, led by producer Lawrence "Muggs" Muggerud and rappers Louis "B Real" Freeze and Senen "Sen Dog" Reyes, was the first major rap act to absorb Latino influences in their lyrics, but, most importantly, they developed a psychedelic sound that lent a sense of tragedy and powerlessness to the depiction of ghetto decadence. A carefully crafted soundscape of guitar, bass and drum samples, coupled with slow, loud, fat beats, pens an ominous, suspense-filled aural journey. Most of the credit goes to Muggs.

After DJ Muggs crafted the gloomy and transfixed atmosphere of Presents the Soul Assassins (1997), a "solo" album benefiting from an all-star cast of guest rappers (Dr Dre, KRS-One, Wyclef, RZA, Genius), Cypress Hill returned with IV (1998), which first introduced the band to the heavy-metal crowds, and the double-disc Skull & Bones (2000), equally divided between hip-hop and rock (the hit Superstar was recorded in two versions). Stoned Raiders (2001) was even more explicitly indebted to rock music, while Till Death Do Us Part (2004) downplayed the rock overtones and harked back to Jamaican music but with too much neosoul balladry.

Los Grandes Exitos En Espanol (1999) is a Spanish-version anthology of their hits.

DJ Muggs continued his solo career with the mediocre Soul Assassins Chapter 2 (2000) and with Dust (2003), that also featured Greg Dulli of the Afghan Wigs on vocals.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Stefano Pertile)

Il rap di Los Angeles ha forse raggiunto il proprio picco artistico con l' iper-depressa trilogia di Cypress Hill (1992), con How I Could Just Kill a Man e The Phuncky Feel One, Black Sunday (1993), contenente l'hit Insane in the Brain, e Temples of Boom (1995). Il gruppo, guidato dal produttore Lawrence "Muggs" Muggerud e dai rappers Louis "B Real" Freeze e Senen "Sen Dog" Reyes, è stato il primo nel rap maggiore ad assorbire influenze Latine nelle liriche, ma, ancora più importante, il primo a sviluppare un suono psichedelico che conferisce un senso di tragedia e di impotenza alla descrizione della decadenza del ghetto. Un  ambiente sonoro finemente manipolato fatto di chitarra, basso e batteria campionati, assieme ad un beat lento, forte e profondo, disegna un viaggio sonoro sinistro pieno di suspense. La maggiorparte del merito di deve a Muggs.

Dopo che DJ Muggs ha plasmato la tenebrosa e paralizzata atmosfera di Presents the Soul Assassins (1997), un album solista che trae beneficio da un cast di rappers ospiti da all-star  (Dr Dre, KRS-One, Wyclef, RZA, Genius), i Cypress Hill tornano con IV (1998), che per primo ha fatto conoscere la band alle folle dell' heavy-metal, e con il doppio Skull & Bones (2000), che si divide equamente tra hip-hop and rock (la hit Superstar è stata registrata in due versioni). Stoned Raiders (2001) è ancora più esplicitamente debitore alla musica rock, mentre Till Death Do Us Part (2004) trascura i toni alti del rock e ritorna alla musica Giamaicana.

Los Grandes Exitos En Espanol (1999) è un'antologia dei loro successi in versione Spagnola.

DJ Muggs continua la sua carriera solista con i mediocri  Soul Assassins Chapter 2 (2000) e Dust (2003).

DJ Muggs spent a few years creating albums with other hip-hop artists: Grandmasters (2005) was a collaboration with GZA of Wu-Tang Clan, Legend of the Mask and the Assassin (2007) was a collaboration with Sick Jacken of Los Angeles rap group Psycho Realm, Pain Language (2008) was a collaboration with Fresno's rapper Jason "Planet Asia" Green (half of duo Cali Agents), and Kill Devil Hills (2010) was a collaboration with New York rapper William "Ill Bill" Braunstein. Meanwhile, DJ Muggs had released the third Soul Assassins album, Intermission (2009), one of the worst of his career.

trip-hop songstress Brevi, fellow producer Andrew Kline (from the hardcore punk band Strife) and Sean Bonner CMHHTD released their debut four-track self-titled extended play on April 2, 2013,[18] and it was promoted by three music videos "Wild Side", "Miracles" and "Roller Coasting". On July 29, 2014, the band released their second extended play, Vita E Morte,[19] it was supported by two music videos "Two Shots" and "Tears Of God". Both EPs were released via Alpha Pup Records and also were released later as Cross My Heart Hope To Die eight-track album.

Cypress Hill had the terrible idea of reforming for the embarrassing Rise Up (2010). It took eight more years and then they released Elephants on Acid (2018), which actually had some intriguing ideas (described in the title of the album) but suffered from sloppy production and a poor choice of vocal samples. And their lyrics, 27 years later, started sounding comical rather than intimidating: they were aging without realizing that the world around them had changed.

The series of DJ Muggs collaborations resumed. There were three with emerging New York rappers: Gems from the Equinox (2017) with Meyhem Lauren; Kaos (2018) with Roc Marciano; Hell's Roof (2019) with Lil Eto. Plus Medallo (2019) with Hispanic rapper Crimeapple of New Jersey.

The Soul Assassins collective returned with Dia del Asesinato (2018), typical of DJ Muggs' dark "boom bap" sound of the 2010s (Contagion Theory with Buffalo rapper Mach-Hommy), but, again, dragged down by sloppy composition, especially when veteran rappers show up (notably Kool G Rap in Day of the Dead and MF Doom in Death Wish) .

Tuez-Les Tous (2019) and Kill Em All (2019) were collaborations between DJ Muggs and Mach-Hommy.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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