On this day, August 13, in hip-hop history…
1991: For B-Real of Cypress Hill, the “Eureka!” moment occurred when he decided to pitch-up his vocal delivery. In Ice-T’s documentary, From Something To Nothing: The Art Of Rap, B-Real spoke of being relegated to ghostwriter’s duty for the group because his voice wasn’t strong enough to carry a song by his own. However, when he decided to change to pitch his voice into a nasally, hyperkinetic delivery, it worked and several million records sold later, Cypress Hill remains one of hip-hop’s most beloved group of the 1990s.
Cypress Hill, the self-titled debut from the group, was the first platinum-selling album for a Cuban-American/Latino rap group in hip-hop history. Powered by B-Real’s hyena-on-laughing-gas vocals, Sen Dog’s gruff bark and DJ Muggs hypnotically funky production, the album would go on to sell 2 million records behind such classic songs as “Hand On The Pump,” “How I Could Just Kill A Man,” and “The Phuncky Feel One.”
Over the years, Cypress Hill would become a seminal rap group in hip-hop history. Not only as pioneering rappers for the Latino community but due to their high-energy live-shows and treasure trove of popular hits. The group would go on to release three more platinum-selling albums, as well as, two more albums that would achieve gold status. The group’s debut remains one of the finer efforts from the group and one of the most beloved albums in hip-hop history.