DJ Muggs Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1)

Cypress Hill "Hand on the Pump" (1991)

Album: Cypress Hill
Label: Ruffhouse Records
DJ Muggs: “The streets were talking at that time. The Source had a major influence on what you would do, and on the climate and the pulse of the people. And the staff up there was amazing at that time. And they were like, [‘Hand on the Pump’] is song two. And at the time, we felt [it too].

“I had did the beat when I lived at this apartment complex in L.A. A lot of people had moved in there after I moved in there. Dave ‘Funken’ Klein, who used to be with Def Jam and then started Hollywood Records. Whipper Whip moved into that building, Grandmaster Caz, Special K. And me and DJ Aladdin lived together.

“So I had the ‘Hand on the Pump’ beat, and I did it with Grandmaster Caz originally, and it was called ‘I’m a Living Legend.’ It was a demo. Then I did the song with Funkdoobiest. Then, I was staying at this apartment with 7A3, which was my group originally, and I was living with them. And I was doing the ‘Hand on the Pump’ beat, and Brett from 7A3 was like, ‘Yo, that’s ill. I got an idea. I’m gonna write this little thing for B-Real and see if he likes it.’ So I’m like, ‘Whatever.’

 

It was cool on the 4-track. But when we went into the studio and recorded it, it just came alive. I had never heard anything like it before.

 

“So he wrote this shit, and B-Real came through, and we recorded it on the 4-track. Brett wrote the first verse, the hook, and the beginning of the second verse. B-Real wrote the rest of the second verse and the third verse. And it was cool on the 4-track. But when we went into the studio and recorded it, it just came alive. I had never heard anything like it before. The fucking energy of it was like, ‘Yo, this shit is ridiculous.’ It just all came together. Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. was in the studio with us, too.

“I don’t even know how that record came together actually, because usually on the 4-track demos, I can tell, ‘This is gonna be dope. We just need to go take it in the studio now.’ But that song, I didn’t like it on the 4-track. But then, we started doing all the ad-libs, and little melodies, and everyone’s in there, and with the energy in the studio, it just came alive. It was a good vibe that day. Lotta weed smoke, lotta 40s.”

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