15 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After an astounding 20 years in the rap game, Cypress Hill has earned its stripes as one of the culture’s most consistent and original groups. B-Real told the press that they wanted Rise Up to be more aggressive and uptempo, in order to enliven the group’s concert experience. The rap/metal mash-ups “Trouble Seeker” and “Shut ‘Em Down” go too far in altering the Cypress Hill blueprint, but on the other hand, “Rise Up” is a winning balance of ‘roid rock and Latin funk. (The song is definitely aided by the inimitable grooves of longtime group percussionist Eric Bobo.) The group has reached out to a diverse list of producers. The rich funk of Pete Rock’s “Light It Up” and Jake-One’s “Armed and Dangerous” is a comfy fit for Cypress, and there is an awesome synergy at work in “Armada Latina,” a luminous summertime flip of Crosby, Stills and Nash’s “Suite Judy Blue Eyes.” But at the end of the day, the group does best when it works close to home. B-Real laces the album with the swift-and-tough “Get ‘Em Up,” while the inimitable DJ Muggs revives the classic Cypress groove for “Pass the Dutch” and “Take the Pain.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

After an astounding 20 years in the rap game, Cypress Hill has earned its stripes as one of the culture’s most consistent and original groups. B-Real told the press that they wanted Rise Up to be more aggressive and uptempo, in order to enliven the group’s concert experience. The rap/metal mash-ups “Trouble Seeker” and “Shut ‘Em Down” go too far in altering the Cypress Hill blueprint, but on the other hand, “Rise Up” is a winning balance of ‘roid rock and Latin funk. (The song is definitely aided by the inimitable grooves of longtime group percussionist Eric Bobo.) The group has reached out to a diverse list of producers. The rich funk of Pete Rock’s “Light It Up” and Jake-One’s “Armed and Dangerous” is a comfy fit for Cypress, and there is an awesome synergy at work in “Armada Latina,” a luminous summertime flip of Crosby, Stills and Nash’s “Suite Judy Blue Eyes.” But at the end of the day, the group does best when it works close to home. B-Real laces the album with the swift-and-tough “Get ‘Em Up,” while the inimitable DJ Muggs revives the classic Cypress groove for “Pass the Dutch” and “Take the Pain.”

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