Black Sunday (Deluxe)
After establishing themselves with their still-revered debut album in 1991, Los Angeles’ Cypress Hill broke through to the masses with their sophomore album. Black Sunday retains all the distinctive qualities of its predecessor, but this time the atmosphere is mellower and the hooks are catchier. The tone is set by “I Wanna Get High,” in which DJ Muggs blends samples from three different songs and creates a sound that evokes billows of smoke. The stoned atmosphere continues with “Legalize It” and “Hits From the Bong” (which makes great use of Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man”), but Black Sunday still has plenty of menace. Songs like “Cock the Hammer,” “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That,” and “Lick a Shot” are frenetic party anthems, while the simmering grooves of “3 Lil’ Putos” and “What Go Around Come Around, Kid” strike a low-key pose of gangsta cool. Even when the craziness reaches a fever pitch, the songs are always grounded in Muggs’ rock-solid rhythms. The group’s chemistry peaks on “When the Shit Goes Down” and the immortal “Insane in the Brain,” two hit anthems that exemplify the trio’s strength.