‘Black Sunday’ is anything but a bad day for California hip-hop group Cypress Hill. In fact, it’s their brightest. Hill’s 1993 sophomore set debuted #1 on the Billboard charts, taking rappers B-Real and Sen Dog, along with their producer DJ Muggs, from popular west coast trio to international superstars. B-Real says it best on opening track, “I Wanna Get High”: “What’s the commotion, I’m not joking
There’s always both elements of fun and darkness with Cypress Hill. This can be attributed to their left-of-center rap style and Muggs dark-alley production. They proved to be an alternative, which made rock audiences – the ones who loved Run DMC – receptive to their sound. And the beats got pretty dim here, but never depressing or devoid of a neck-snapping nod factor. “When the Shit Goes Down” and sample-driven interlude “Lock Down” are stand out examples.
Even hit single “Insane In the Brain” is deceptively gritty.
The darkest hour on ‘Sunday’ is easily the T-Ray-produced “I Ain’t Goin Out Like That”, which honestly steals some spotlight from Muggs’ marquee, trunk rattling gloom. As the second track on the album it makes the preceding “High” feel more like a buzz, setting the tone for the rest of the LP. Much of that tone is smoke (weed) or get smoked.
Famously fond of the green goodness, B-Real and Sen Dog lace arguably their best herb ode here, too, with “Hits from the Bong”.
Two decades later Cypress Hill’s ‘Black Sunday’ is still an LP you kick back and chill to while its heavy bass quakes you like a massage chair. But is there enough evidence on it to declare it classic? Yes, CONCRETE.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BLACK SUNDAY CELEBRATING 22yrs JULY 20th