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

Cypress Hill "Illusions" (1995)

Album: III: Temples of Boom
Label: Columbia
DJ Muggs: “We’re the underdogs. We’re like the Raiders, we were always dark and mysterious. Now, all of a sudden, we got big. Sell fucking four million records. People are like, ‘Oh, they sold out.’ No. ‘We didn’t sell out, you guys bought in.’ We never changed our music. So I was like, ‘Fuck that. I’m making the darkest, non-commercial record I can possibly make.’

“‘Illusions’ was the first song we recorded. I made the beat, B-Real recorded the vocals, and I loved it. But I didn’t know what to make of it. It had the vibes, and it was some different shit. I just wanted to make a dark record.

 

All of a sudden, we got big. Sell four million records. People are like, ‘Oh, they sold out.’ No. ‘We didn’t sell out, you guys bought in.’ We never changed our music. So I was like, ‘I’m making the darkest, non-commercial record I can possibly make.’

 

“I was spending a lot of time in England. I was working with an artist named Ingrid Schroeder, working on her album with Howie B, who produced U2. And Goldie, I did a few songs with him as well. And being in England, at that time, it was Massive Attack, Tricky, and Portishead, owning and running that whole fucking country. So I was soaking that energy in. And I hadn’t started the album yet. So I was soaking that energy in, and starting to make my little beats on the side. And I think that’s where that energy came from, for that record to just be dark.

“I remember, I was reading an article about us, and it was called ‘Temples of Boom.’ I think it was in the San Francisco Enquirer. I was like, ‘That’s the name of the record.’ Even with the cover, we were anti-everything. Just like, ‘Fuck this.’ And this was the record that came out from the energy we were feeling. It’s like, we wanted to smash everything we created, and rip it all down.

“The hard thing for it, though, was performing it. Because the record is so slow. And our shows, and the songs on the first two albums, are so hyped. I have about ten or eleven songs still from those Temples of Boom sessions. I’m going to release them one time, and call it The Lost Temples. I don’t know when, I will eventually. People get mad at me for not just giving them away on the Internet, calling me names. But I want to put them out the right way.”

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