The members of Cypress Hill were hardly saints before becoming rap-rock superstars, but they managed not to stray too far over the line, as B-Real can attest in the group's new single "Trouble."
"It's just one of those tracks where you look back and think about all the stuff you've been through," the rapper said. "The mentality it took to keep you out of that trouble, the situations — sort of like an example-type song."
"Trouble" and "Lowrider," which B-Real described as a tribute to lowrider car culture, are the first singles off Stoned Raiders, due December 4, according to a Columbia Records spokesperson.
The songs were released to different radio formats simultaneously, with "Trouble" going to rock outlets while "Lowrider" hit hip-hop stations. The split singles stay true to the rap-rock dichotomy the group helped pioneer with its 1991 self-titled debut and exemplified best on last year's double album, Skull & Bones, which featured "(Rock) Superstar" and "(Rap) Superstar" as singles.
Videos for both songs were shot in Los Angeles in October. Chris Robinson (P. Diddy, Faith Evans) helmed the "Trouble" clip, while the team of Smith n' Borin (Xzibit, New Found Glory) directed "Lowrider," which B-Real said depicts the ground-skimming automotive styles of past decades. As for the concept behind "Trouble," the cannabis connoisseur was hesitant to reveal any details.
Unlike some videos, which B-Real said could be "a drag" and "a big pain in the ass," the filming for "Trouble" and "Lowrider" went relatively smoothly.
"These two weren't so bad," B-Real explained. "We had fun. It seemed like the time just went by, because [the directors] made it interesting. It wasn't what seemed like thousands of shots for something so simple. A lot of times you get frustrated [because] you don't really want to keep doing the same damn thing over and over. But you have to for the sake of getting the right shot. So we were just patient and trusted the directors."
The Los Angeles quartet of B-Real, Sen Dog, Bobo and DJ Muggs weren't alone in recording Stoned Raiders, which takes its title from a track off 1995's Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom. They were joined in the studio by some familiar faces — Andy Zambrano and Jeremy Fleener of Sen Dog's side project SX-10, Fear Factory bassist Christian Olde Wolbers, and Downset guitarist Rogelio Lozano, who performed with B-Real, Sen Dog and Bobo in Los Marijuanos (see "Cypress Hill, Jane's, Deftones Rolled Together In Marijuanos") — as well as some unexpected collaborators like Kurupt, Everlast, MC Ren, Redman, Method Man and Kokane.
"We've been doing a lot of work together for a long time," B-Real said of Olde Wolbers and Lozano. "We know each other's vibe and where we want to go musically, so it sort of makes it easier when you're working with all those people who are constantly around and know what the thing is about, rather than going and getting other musicians who are just paid to come in and play and really don't know the vibe.
"Kurupt had been hanging with Muggs, ... and I was like, 'Hey, man, why don't you jump on this track with me?' And he got on and just ripped it up, and then we did a few more songs. He showed up [in the studio] again while we were doing 'Kronologik,' and I said, 'Hey, why don't you do something on this?' Actually, we weren't even planning to have him on. I just finished writing the verses and he was there saying the chorus to me, what he thought it should be, and I liked it."
Track listing for Stoned Raiders, according to Columbia Records:
- "Kronologik" (featuring Kurupt)
- "Southland Killers (featuring MC Ren and King Tee)
- "It Ain't Easy"
- "Psychodelic Vision"
- "Red Meth & Bee" (featuring Redman and Method Man)
- "L.I.F.E." (featuring Kokane)
- "Here Is Something You Can't Understand" (featuring Kurupt)