Friday, November 20, 2009

CD Odyssey Disc 57: Cypress Hill

My last random disc was actually some music made by a friend. I liked it a lot, but I think it unwise to review my friends' music, just as it is unwise to review their bathrooms. So I'll say I liked it plenty, and move on to Disc 57 - which was chosen by me under the "it's new" category.

Disc 57 is...Till Death Do Us Part

Artist: Cypress Hill

Year of Release: 2004

How I Came To Know It: I originally heard of Cypress Hill when my buddy Spence made an album of all the original artists doing the songs covered on Rage Against the Machine's "Renegades" album. Cypress Hill did the original "How I Could Just Kill a Man". I liked Cypress Hill, and this album is just me drilling into their collection.

How It Stacks Up: I have 5 Cypress Hill albums, but this is the most current one I own. I'd say it is 4th out of those 5.

Rating: 3 stars.

Cypress Hill is some awesome gangsta rap from some guys from the LA area that have been around since the early nineties.

In their first 3 albums, Cypress Hill basically sings about 3 things and only 3 things. These things are:

  1. Killin' folks
  2. Smokin' dope
  3. Killin' folks trying to take your dope.

However, starting with their 4th album, they branched out and added a fourth topic of interest:

4. Scorin' girls.

This sounds really lame to listen to, but Cypress Hill is uniquely able to find new ways to make these topics interesting.

This particular album has a good song about scorin' girls called "What's Your Number?" which must have been some kind of hit (since it is advertised as being on the album with an extra sticker). I wouldn't know, since I don't listen to hip hop radio. I did note that this song is based off of the bass line in the Clash's "Guns of Brixton" which is pretty cool.

Other tracks cover the topics well, including Ganja Bus (#1), Another Body Drops (#2) and Last Laugh (#3).

I was never a big rap fan, so I am amazed that 5 albums in, I am still finding new things to like about Cypress Hill. Gangsta Rap is certainly no experience I can relate to, but the visceral quality to their music - mixed with a bit of black humour and a healthy dose of talent - is the right combination to get my feet wet.

This album is strong, particularly given that it is over a decade after their first release. Not many rap bands last that long, and for good reason.

In the end, you would be well served to just get Cypress Hill's first three albums, but if you wanted a fourth - you could do worse than "Till Death Do Us Part"

Best tracks: Another Body Drops, Ganja Bus, Busted in the Hood, What's Your Number?.

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