thu 30/06/2022

Album: Cypress Hill - Back in Black | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Cypress Hill - Back in Black

Album: Cypress Hill - Back in Black

Hip hop’s Freak Brothers go back to basics and lose their way

Cypress Hill - plodding

“Maybe it’s just me, but I think you need some weed” chants B-Real on “Come with Me”, just one of the hymns to getting high on Cypress Hill’s tenth studio album of tales about gang-banging and smoking industrial volumes of cannabis.

However, while their tunes used to very funny and even inspired, as they forced you to get up on your feet and shake a leg, Back to Black sees the formula start to get a little thin.

Things start well with “Takeover”: a statement of intent with a dirty, stoned groove. “Open Ya Mind” is a call for a consistent implementation of weed legalisation across the United States over a jazzy bass, while “Certified” just about holds it together with a laidback funky groove, even if the lyrics feel like they’ve been pushed on us a thousand times before.

After this, however, Back in Black rapidly goes downhill as it rolls up and inhales gangster cliché after gangster cliché, reaching a peak of box-ticking with the somewhat misleadingly titled “The Original” – which is everything but. Weed, gangsters, flash cars, cops, “bitches” and more getting high. It has everything that we’ve come to expect from Cypress Hill, but with none of the charm.

Over thirty years, B-Real, Sen Dog and Muggs Hill have embraced plenty of different sounds to accompany their famously weed-centric raps, from the stoned funk of their debut album to the full-on heavy metal of Skull & Bones and the nods to reggae on Till Death Do Us Part. Back in Black, however, consciously strips all this down to what Sen Dog calls a “straight hip hop joint”. Unfortunately, it also feels like a significant step backwards from 2018’s magnificently psychedelic Elephants on Acid and more than a bit plodding for a hip hop posse who have a made a name for themselves through their wild and off-beat stylistic swerves over the years.

It has everything that we’ve come to expect from Cypress Hill, but with none of the charm


Editor Rating: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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