Music - Cypress Hill - Elephants on Acid - Hip-Hop goes Prog-Rock
Re-united as a trio for the first time in 14, Cypress Hill are back with an album that does'nt sound like anything else you are likely to hear this year - how much of that you like or dislike is up to your own capacity to understand just what hip-hop can be in 2018.
In their time away from the studio it is obvious that DJ Muggs has been listening to a whole world's worth of hip-hop - never more obvious and effective than on lead single Band of Gypsys. Featuring underground Egyptian rappers Sadat and Alaa Fifty the track opens with an Arabic spoken intro before throwing in oud players, sitars and Arabic Ululation into an intoxicating sound that resembles nothing else you will hear this year.
Other tracks such as Locos share a DNA similar to earlier efforts like How I could just kill a Man and 3 little Putos and Blood on my Hands sounds like it came through a portal from the height of early-90's Horrocore rap. Warlord sounds like something that jumped from the mid 95 craze of rap-rock. Muggs is dead sounds like something that would'nt be amiss on a Tom Waits album about an evil vaudevillian circus
That the music can sound so fresh from a group 30 years into their career is a testament to the production from DJ Muggs and Gonjasufi as well as the group as a collective to embrace new sounds an styles from the world over. Is it overlong? Yes. Does it take its sweet time in delivering? Absolutely But like the great prog-rock albums of the 70's and 80's as much as it takes its time and ambles from point to point the music always returns to the immediacy that always made Cypress Hill seem more relevant and current than most of their peers.
It does'nt sound like any other hip-hop album you will hear this year - its probably a safe bet to say you won't hear anything like it come next year. You probably won't hear anything like it until The Hill's next album is released.