Cypress Hill "Rap Superstar" (2000)
Album: Skull and Bones
DJ Muggs: “We wanted to do some different shit. So me and B were like, ‘Let’s record a rap album and a rock album at the same time.’ Because we were both fans of that type of music. But we were like, ‘Let’s put them on two separate records so if you don’t like it, you don’t have to listen to it. You can change the channel. You have options these days.’ So we did it.
“The first single was supposed to be ‘Rap Superstar’ with [our rock song] ‘Can’t Get the Best of Me.’ But we were in a weird situation at Columbia, because we were Urban, and we were Alternative. But if you were Alternative, the Urban department wouldn’t work your record, [and vice versa]. They were two different floors, and they didn’t work together as a team. But we were like, ‘What the fuck? We’re Cypress Hill. We fit under both.’ But they wouldn’t [collaborate].
“So we were like, ‘Let’s give them both something to work with.’ So Donnie Ienner heard [both songs], and was like, ‘That’s the single. ‘Rap Superstar.’’ He starts getting excited, and starts picking up the phone, like, ‘Get into my fucking office right now. This is gonna happen. We’re going to make this happen, or you’re going to lose your fucking job.’ And when Columbia puts their machine behind it, it’s a big thing.
“So I was like, ‘Fuck, we’re not going to get a rock release now? You’re killing the whole fucking plan.’ So I wanted to do ‘Rock Superstar.’ And we went in the studio, got a band, and flipped it. I don’t think when I first did it that B-Real was feeling it, because I was like, ‘I need you to come in and do ‘rock.’ Just that one word.’ And he just wasn’t really excited about it. But he did it.
“After we recorded the song, I drove around for about five hours listening to the song over and over and over. And I don’t know what it is, but you get that feeling, like, ‘This is that shit right here. This is the one.’ It was fun.
Eminem was coming over to the house all the time back then. He would be at the house, and we would throw little parties. So we got Em to talk on the record.
“And we had hired [Eminem’s manager] Paul Rosenberg at the time, and I was like, ‘Yo Paul. I got one. This is it.’ Eminem was coming over to the house all the time back then. He would be at the house, and we would throw little parties. So we got Em to talk on the record. And we wanted a rap guy and a rock guy, so we got Chino from The Deftones as well.
“Yeah, Em was around, during his first record. The only thing we had [recorded together though] was the shit we did for the Boo-Ya T.R.I.B.E. We did a record [called ‘911’], it was real slick. It was us, and Boo-Ya T.R.I.B.E., and him.
“N.O.R.E.’s on the rap version too. When we did the video, N.O.R.E. was drunk that day. I wasn’t there, but I heard it took him like two hours to do that part. It was funny. N.O.R.E.’s the shit. I love that guy.
“But this was still not us bending over to get on the radio. It was still us making a Cypress Hill record. That record was inspired by Led Zeppelin, by ‘Cashmere.’ When I went to do the rock version, I wanted to make something like that, or Metallica.
“That record was big. When you get a big record like that, you got another three years to go touring.”