20 Years Later: B-Real & Sen Dog Talk Cypress Hill's 1991 Debut

We get B-Real and Sen Dog to break down the making of the four key songs off their classic debut album.

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Complex Original

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Over the weekend, Cypress Hill celebrated the 20 year anniversary of their legendary debut album, the self-titled Cypress Hill. The album helped establish Cypress Hill as the first hugely popular Latino rap group while DJ Mugg’s stoned soundscapes were an influential guidepost for the future of hip-hop production.

In honor of the album, we decided to pull one of the achieves and post our previous interview where we had B-Real and Sen Dog talking about making songs like “How I Could Just Kill A Man,” “The Phuncky Feel One,” and “Pigs.” So get your left hand on a fourty and start puffing on a blunt while you zone out to the sounds of Cypress Hill. Lala la la lala la laaaaa...

As Told To Toshitaka Kondo (@ToshitakaKondo)


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B-Real: "We were in South Gate coming back from a house party and we went to Jack-In-The Box. I had a dark blue 520 Cadillac Seville sittin' on McLeans. It was gangsta. Straight up. I was using the phone booth and they decided to come harass me.

"Some of them were high school football guys and they didn't go anywhere else but to become a local cop. We knew them, so we weren't intimated by them. We'd be like, 'Fuck you, you third stringer. You couldn't even make LAPD.' And they were trying to gang up on me.

"It was about five or six cops. We looked like thugs so they basically treated us like thugs. But I wasn't doing nothing. I didn't have no weapons, no weed. [They said,] 'What are you doing here? Put your hands on the car!' I'm like, 'What the fuck you mean? What did I do that I got to put my hands on your car?' They're like, 'Don't create a problem.' I'm like, 'You're gonna arrest me for fuckin talking on the phone?'

"Then they were grouping around me and I was like, 'What? You gonna jump me in front of all these all these people in Jack-In-The-Box? Go ahead! The first one that jumps out at me, I'm knocking him out! I don't care if I get beat up the rest of the way. You guys better call your on-duty sergeant or something because we got a problem.' The sergeant comes on the scene and asks me what happened. And I told them exactly what happened. And he told those guys to let me go and to apologize."

Sen Dog: "B-Real was pretty pissed. When I rolled up to my house, he was sitting in front of my mom's house in his car. I rolled up in my driveway and I walked up to him and I was like, 'Hey what are you doing?' And he goes, 'I'm writing a song about the pigs!' He had this look on his face. When I came back outside the house, he was like, 'Listen to this!'

"That was actually one of the later songs that we recorded during the first album because either Muggs or I reminded him about the poem he wrote about the pigs. It was right around the time we did "Latin Lingo" because that was one of the last songs we recorded for that album.

"I remember having the first rough of the album, "Pigs" and "Latin Lingo" wasn't on it. It wasn't until we went back in with Joe The Butcher—the owner of Ruff House Records—came out to L.A. to hear the final. We recorded "Pigs". Then we flew out to Philly to mix and master the album and that's when we came up with "Hole In The Head" and "Latin Lingo".

"He laid it down to this funky track Muggs had come up with. And then we started to build the concept for the song more deeply around that. Names were changed, but where we grew up, a lot of people knew each other and what not. A lot of these cops would try to chase the same chicks that we chased. And chicks knew everything because what do men do? They talk to women. So we were connected back in the days.

"We knew exactly what those guys were up to, they were no different than us. They just wore a gun and a badge to work and we didn't. But you know, B was swift with the pen. And they gave him a creative spark and they paid the price. And those guys know that song is about them. They have to know. [Laughs.]"

"How I Could Just Kill a Man"

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"Hand On The Pump"

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"The Phuncky Feel One"

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