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  • What advice would you give

  • to your younger self?

  • To my younger self?

  • Don't trust that one dude.

  • [Laughs]

  • ♪ ♪

  • Today I'm talking to B-Real,

  • a pioneer and founding member of the group Cypress Hill.

  • They've sold over 20 million records

  • with songs like "Insane in the Brain"

  • and “(Rock) Superstar,"

  • and were the first Latino group to go platinum in rap.

  • Now at age 49,

  • not only is B-Real still touring and recording music,

  • he's also an entrepreneur, media host and an activist.

  • Do you remember what your first hip-hop memory was?

  • It was on 1580 KDOI

  • it was an AM station, and they were the only ones

  • playing hip-hop music on the radio in Los Angeles,

  • maybe anywhere, at the time.

  • They played Run-DMC's "Here We Go."

  • Here we come, here we come, ♪ ♪ here we kitty-come-come. ♪

  • Come on, everybody, ♪ ♪ let's all get down. ♪

  • What we have ♪ ♪ is a brand-new sound. ♪

  • I thought, “What the [expletive] is this?

  • This is dope.”

  • That was the first thing that, like, punched me in the face

  • and got my attention.

  • I've heard you say

  • that music has saved your life.

  • Can you just paint a picture

  • of what was going on when Sen Dog and Muggs

  • kind of pulled you into the group?

  • You know, I started hanging out

  • with gangsters and became a gangster,

  • and I was really running around wild

  • while they were still trying to pursue the passion

  • of getting a record deal.

  • They felt like, you know, it was their duty

  • to come get me out of the neighborhood

  • and get me back on the mic or writing.

  • That definitely saved my life

  • because the trajectory in a gang

  • you know, you're either going to prison or in the grave.

  • Music and those guys pretty much saved my life.

  • How I could just kill a man. ♪

  • Your lyrics portrayed the violence

  • that was going on around you,

  • but you never glorified that.

  • Why was that important to you?

  • I felt like, you know, we had to come with a message

  • that was making people aware of what was going on,

  • and then the choices you could make

  • to either go right or left.

  • I thought this is nothing to glorify.

  • I mean, I've lost friends, you know, that were close to me

  • due to the gang violence.

  • We already know that possibly

  • our day comes at the end of a barrel

  • with a bullet coming out of it,

  • whether it's a rival or a police officer.

  • There is a way out. I'm proof of that.

  • You guys kinda became celebrities pretty quickly.

  • The thing that pushed "Kill a Man"

  • over the top and gave it extra life and extra boost

  • was the fact that Chuck D. and the Bomb Squad

  • were putting together the music for the movie "Juice,"

  • which was Tupac's first role.

  • It was bubbling on the mix show play,

  • and then that movie blew that song up out of the water

  • and, hello, Cypress Hill, to everybody at that point.

  • What was the biggest challenge

  • that now you couldn't go anywhere

  • without being recognized?

  • Well, you know, it was surreal because

  • we went from being able to go to the mall

  • and not be recognized and be incognito,

  • and no one gave a shit who we were,

  • to now, we went into the malls,

  • and we were like the Beatles.

  • I did not realize what that song would do,

  • what it would do for us and how it would change our lives.

  • How I could just kill a man. ♪

  • Here is something ♪ ♪ you can't understand. ♪

  • Your voice is one of the most distinctive in music.

  • How did you come to have that voice?

  • I was rapping in this voice to start,

  • and the guys did not like it at all.

  • They said, "You'd better come up with something,

  • or you're going to be writing raps for Sen Dog.”

  • We're all big fans of this rapper named Rammellzee.

  • You know, he had this crazy style where he'd be rapping like this,

  • Bah-bah-bah-bah-bah-bah. [imitates low pitch]

  • Then he'd come all the way up here. [imitates high pitch]

  • And I said, “OK, I'm going to try to pitch my voice like him."

  • To da one on da flam. ♪ ♪ Boy, it's tough. ♪

  • ♪ I just toss that ham ♪ ♪ in the frying pan like Spam. ♪

  • The guys liked it.

  • I didn't think they would like it.

  • I barely liked it.

  • That's how it came about, and it took me some years

  • to get used to actually doing it.

  • I went to an opera singer

  • for lessons on how to breathe and project

  • without straining my voice, and stuff like that.

  • But I got used to it, and I started embracing it,

  • and I learned to like it myself.

  • You talked about the Latin influence

  • and, obviously, both of you guys speaking Spanish on "Latin Lingo."

  • Why was that important for you guys?

  • Realistically, the lane for Latin rappers

  • was very small at the time,

  • so we just wanted to be known as a hip-hop group.

  • So we would just sprinkle our Latin flavor

  • here and there and not overdo it.

  • To not get put in that box, the Latin rapper box,

  • because if you got put in that box at that time,

  • you weren't going nowhere.

  • That fan base didn't exist.

  • Latins that were Spanish-speaking,

  • Latins in this country,

  • were only listening to Spanish-speaking music,

  • not bilingual stuff,

  • and especially not any rap s—t.

  • That took time.

  • Guys like Kid Frost and Mellow Man Ace

  • opened those doors.

  • We went through it and kicked the door open and,

  • you know, made a gaping [expletive] door for others to come behind.

  • But now labels are, like,

  • we definitely know where to market them now.

  • There is definitely a lane for them now.

  • We need to sign them up.

  • You've been pretty consistent,

  • not only with the music, but being an entrepreneur,

  • still finding time to tour,

  • to one of your other endeavors, B-RealTV.

  • Why was it important to you to be an interviewer

  • and have conversations with other people?

  • People know me from Cypress Hill

  • but, you know, some of these young folks

  • don't know what Cypress Hill is.

  • They'll know me fromThe Smokebox.”

  • "Hey, you're the dude from 'The Smokebox.' ”

  • I have fun doing it,

  • and most of the time, you know,

  • when the guest is open,

  • it's a great conversation and it sometimes is educational.

  • As long as people still want to come and do it,

  • and I'm having fun doing it, we're going to continue to keep rolling.

  • Where does that hunger come from, to not slow down?

  • You're as old as you feel, right?

  • So, if one day I get like Danny Glover in "Lethal Weapon" —

  • "I'm getting too old for this s--t” —

  • then I'll just retire.

  • But for me, as long as I feel good

  • and healthy, I mean, I love doing it.

  • And I think if you love it and you take care of yourself,

  • you can go as long as you want.

  • Hip-hop is like any other music.

  • It's ageless.

  • You can do hip-hop no matter how [expletive] old you are.

  • It's about relating to people, you know what I mean?

  • And the older artists have something to teach,

  • and that's relatable.

  • Word.

  • Appreciate you so much for your time.

  • Cool.

  • Thank you very much.

What advice would you give

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    Caurora posted on 2021/01/17
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