Muggs Trades Soul Assassins For Female Singer On Solo Album

Cypress Hill producer mixing group's second album, Stoned Raiders, due in November.

For his next solo project, Cypress Hill producer Muggs is trading in his Soul Assassins for a soulful female singer.

The studio maestro recently began work on an album he said will apply his cinematic beats to hip-hop, rock, drum'n'bass and R&B, with a fresh-faced songstress as its primary vocalist.

"It's going to be everything I like to listen to," Muggs said Wednesday. "This is different sh-- from me. Music is stiff right now, and it's time for some new sh--."

Muggs refused to name his new protégé, whom he first met about a week ago, or supply specifics about her background. "It doesn't matter if she was 6 feet 9 inches and 450 pounds — it's just a vibe and the music I'm gonna sell," he said. "I don't want people to look at somebody's ass and buy a record."

Perhaps he's also a little gun-shy. Two years ago, he recorded an album's worth of songs with a different female vocalist but had to scrap the project when she "went crazy on me — she went loco," he said.

His new lady is "going to captivate people," Muggs said. "Her voice is beautiful. When I brought her in and played her a few tracks, she did exactly what I envisioned without me guiding her. And she's not on no diva sh--, where half of these young singers think they're Britney Spears before they even sing their first song. She's an artist's artist."

Due in the spring, the untitled album will feature other vocalists and MCs but not his Cypress Hill bandmates.

"It's inventive, experimental music — you can't say what this is," Muggs said. "It may not even get in the record stores, 'cause they won't know where to put the f---ing thing."

Muggs hasn't forgotten the Soul Assassins, a shifting roster of talented MCs featured on his previous two solo albums, Muggs Presents the Soul Assassins, Chapter I (1997) and Chapter II (2000). He said the third Assassins album should arrive next summer.

Meanwhile, Muggs recently remixed Depeche Mode's "Freelove" and has two songs left to mix for the next Cypress album, which he says will be titled Stoned Raiders. Its first single, due a month prior to the album's November 2 release, is titled "Trouble." Raiders, which follows last year's half-rock, half-rap double album Skull & Bones, is shaping up to consist of about eight hip-hop and five rock songs, Muggs said. "It's bangin' — it's a new type of music, very inventive for Cypress Hill, a whole new direction."

Muggs said he'll tour behind his new solo effort in the spring while Cypress are out supporting Stoned Raiders. Though he plays live with his Cypress bandmates infrequently, insofar as his main contributions take place in the studio, he'll join them for this fall's multicity Smoke Out shows (see "Busta, Deftones, Method Man To Smoke Out With Cypress Hill").