Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cypress Has Risen Up the Hill

On first look at Cypress Hill's new track list for their Rise Up album, the list of cameos is pretty impressive. What struck me is they aren't your run of the mill Hip Hop cameos, your T-pains or Lil Waynes or even Snoop...they went out and got...wait who? Former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, Mike Shinoda or you may know his as Fort Minor, and The Alchemist. If you don't know at least two out of the three artists just listed shame on you (I'll give you Alchemist, he's a great producer, but doesn't have the mainstream name power).

Personally, after hearing Armada Latina, I was already intrigued enough to give their whole album a spin. You may assume I give damn near every Hip Hop or R&B album a spin the way I talk about music daily, but truth be told I don't have the time or energy in a day to do a lot of cool stuff I wish I could...#storyoflife. On first glance of their tracklist I headed straight for the two Tom Morello tracks since it's rare nowadays to hear the type of high test guitar riffs that resonate from his crafty, well-known sound (you know I had to post a link to his well known guitar solos). Hands down, no better guitarist of my generation growing up in the 80s and 90s. Was a little apprehensive to hear how his riffs would mix with some classic Latino Rap, but I quickly found it to be an interesting shot...which probably had a little Redbull in it because of how energized you end up feeling after hearing it. Case in point, check out the new video for Cypress Hill's new single Rise Up featuring Tom Morello.

Man that high powered guitar driven hook takes me back to the real Rage days with Zack de la Rocha. Pretty hard not at least get a little hype for that one. But if we were to talk about my favorite track on the album, it would undoubtedly be their track with Linkin Park rapper aka ridiculously talented and slept on Mike Shinoda. I maintain, his solo album as Fort Minor titled The Rising Tied was one of the true classic albums of the past 10 years that did not get the credit it deserved for being a disk that was trump tight from to back.

As you can tell I was not disappointed in the least when I skipped to this track initially. From the slow, deliberate mariachi style guitar that Cypress has been known for in the past, to the progression of the beat that hits its stride midway through the first verse 8 bars deep into B-Real's tumultuous tour through his trials and tribulations. Even your favorite OG Sen Dog, brings the pain with his verse on the track. The real UV rays from this track though come from the end of the verses with the haunting harmony leading into the extremely well crafted hook by Mike Shinoda where the beat is absolutely KNOCKING, but the melodic, measured pace and slightly inspirational lyrics fit like a square peg into a square hole. There's always so much ebb and flow in between the deep bass/hard percussion and emotionally charged lyrics on Mike Shinoda tracks. In my eyes, he produces so infrequently, it's easy to appreciate his craft and regard his as a genius when it comes to producing music this enjoyable on a consistent basis.

Maybe it caters to my tastes more than yours, but in my eyes this one's a diamond in the rough...even if you don't feel the same way, it's worth a listen...

Cypress Hill feat Mike Shinoda (Fort Minor) - Carry Me Away Great Track!!!!


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