DJ Muggs is a rap legend. Not only is he the man behind the blunt-rolling, bong-toking, timeless sound of his group Cypress Hill, but he’s also responsible for producing some of the biggest hip-hop records from the early ‘90s, like House of Pain’s “Jump Around,” and Ice Cube’s “Check Yo Self.” And that’s just a fraction of what he’s done over the past two decades.

Muggs has collaborated with an endless list of major artists: Dr. Dre, RZA, GZA, KRS-One, Beastie Boys, Mobb Deep, MC Eiht, Redman, Erick Sermon, and Kool G Rap, building his Soul Assassins brand into a coast-to-coast empire using dark, dusty samples and boom-bap beats. He’s also done plenty of work outside of rap, too, remixing records for U2, and fusing with Sonic Youth and Pearl Jam.

In 2013, Muggs is still pushing the envelope of music innovation with his new, electro-heavy, dubstep-influenced project Bass for Your Face (available on iTunes now), which features some of the most talented MCs on the scene, such as Danny Brown and Roc Marciano.

In part one of our sit-down with Muggs, we go back to the early days of Cypress Hill, as he tells us the stories behind creating classics like “How I Could Just Kill a Man” and “Insane In The Brain” with his group mates B-Real and Sen Dog, from the production to the videos. He also talks in-depth about their past beef with Ice Cube, reveals which artists passed on the “Jump Around” beat (and who bit its chorus), shares memories of a young Alchemist working in the lab, and so much more.

As told to Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

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