Monday, April 19, 2010
Cypress Hill Go Classic With CS&N Sample, Pitbull & Marc Anthony Get Involved
Nobody could have predicted Cypress Hill would have a radio hit in 2010 courtesy of Crosby, Stills and Nash classic, Suite: Judy Blue Eyes — not even the West Coast rap veterans themselves.
But indeed they do, as Cypress Hill’s latest single, Armada Latina — which is fuelled by the CSN song’s guitar harmony and Spanish-language-chorus ending — has created buzz leading up to today’s release of the group’s first studio album in six years, Rise Up.
“It’s strange we get radio hits every five years or seven years,” said Cypress Hill’s lead rapper B-Real in a Canadian newspaper exclusive with QMI Agency.
“We’ve had success somehow without so much radio. But the airplay that we have had was significant with Insane in the Brain and after that we didn’t have another one that was massive until (Rock) Superstar came (in 2000). We’re not, by nature, a radio group. We get it when we can get it.”
The idea to use the Suite: Judy Blue Eyes sample came from Armada Latina’s producer Jim Johnson, who suggested Miami rapper Pitbull (You Know You Want Me) and Latin pop artist Marc Anthony also appear on the track.
Pitbull wasn’t a stretch, but Anthony’s involvement seemed unlikely.
“I didn’t believe that Marc Anthony would get on the track with us; that’s a little to the left,” said B-Real. “But he ended up being a fan and he ended up coming to the studio and taking the track over the top. It far exceeded what my expectations of it were and now there’s a big buzz on it so you can’t complain about that. It’s something you can’t anticipate and sometimes those are the best things. Our sound is usually really dark and gritty and underground. This particular track is not that. We take chances and sometimes we win.”
CSN’s Stephen Stills, who Cypress Hill met at the 1994 edition of Woodstock, even showed up to play guitar in the video for the song.
“He was talking to (Cypress Hill rapper) Sen Dog and myself and telling us how he was influenced in writing that original song (about his then long-time girlfriend Judy Collins),” said B-Real. “And that he loved the song so much and he was glad that somebody finally actually came and used it in the way that we used it. When you grow up listening to all these different types of genres of music, and you meet one of the people you hold in high regard, and he likes your s--t, that’s the craziest thing ever.”
The long break between Cypress Hill albums was due to the fact that the group had wrapped up their previous deal with Sony and had no pending deadline. They have since signed to Snoop Dogg’s Priority Records, distributed by EMI.
B-Real previously toured with Snoop Dogg, as is the case with many of the guests on Rise Up — including Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park) and Everlast.
In fact, Everlast was responsible for adding lyrics from The Doors’ 1967 classic Break On Through (To the Other Side) to the song, Days Destroy The Night,
B-Real — who played with guitarist Robby Krieger in a band called Camp Freddy, met keyboardist Ray Manzarek at an industry function and got to know John Densmore while playing congas on a version of Riders on the Storm that the Doors drummer was producing — said he has nothing but respect for them.
“They knew who we were and they knew we appreciated their music and we’re big fans,” said B-Real. “They’re really open-minded when it comes to attaching where their music goes to, like how they brand it, with whom they brand it.
“They’re some cool dudes. I can’t say nothing but praise for them. I mean, those artists of that time are open-minded to what this is and to what we do. And that’s the great thing, seeing that Stephen Stills and The Doors collectively were open-minded enough to let us borrow from the existing vibe. Adding our vibe to theirs, that was the coolest s--t ever.”