Cypress Hill is the self-titled debut studio album from hip hop group Cypress Hill. It was released on August 13, 1991 by Ruffhouse Records making today its 30th anniversary. The album would set one of the main blueprints for what constituted West Coast style hip hop and hip hop in general during the 90s. You won't find many "Top" or "Best Lists" in regards to all-time or just 90s lists of hip hop albums that don't include this debut.
The group was composed of rappers Louise "B-Real" Freese, Senen "Sen Dog" Reyes, and Lawrence "DJ Muggs" Muggergud. Stylistically the group was able to stand out and also they certainly made a name for themselves talking openly about marijuana. You'll find that just about half of the tracks on this project are dedicated to the herb. They also stood out by featuring Spanish in a lot of their rhymes.
The first single from this iconic project was "How Could I Just Kill A Man." The music video featured cameos from Q-Tip and Ice Cube. It was included in the soundtrack for the movie Juice and if you're a fan of Grand Theft Auto you probably heard it in the 2004 game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Released as a B-side to "How Could I Just Kill A Man" the second single is considered to be "The Phuncky Feel One." A lot of the groups videos from their early days just featured them performing the song in a variety of locations.
"Hand on the Pump" was released as the 3rd single.
The last single from the album was "Latin Lingo."
Their debut wouldn't make any chart noise here in New Zealand. It was their second album Black Sunday which exploded here peaking at #2 and featuring the top 20 hits "Insane in the Brain", "When the Shit Goes Down" and "I Ain't Goin' Out Like That." While Black Sunday was bigger Cypress Hill was the blueprint and certainly had the bigger cultural impact. Because of this debut Dr Dre would get to work on his iconic album The Chronic and producers like RZA, Erick Sermon and Jermaine Dupri tried to implement some of DJ Muggs' style.
Cypress Hill is def worth taking a trip back for its 30th anniversary, especially if you call yourself a fan of the group or hip hop in generally. And you certainly need to give it a listen for the first time if you haven't done so before. An expanded edition of the album has been released for it's anniversary.