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hip-hop faculty advice b-real

B-Real

Advice: Know your history and pay attention to your surroundings.
XXL: What was your mentality coming into the industry in the beginning?
B-Real: We [Cypress Hill] came up on artists likeMelle Mel, Boogie Down Productions, Public Enemy, Run-DMC. So many classic artists, and we were students of the game, and we felt we had a responsibility to know where it came from, so we could know where we wanted it to go. Now it’s gotten to the point where labels are paying the average fans to be stars.

Do you see any other differences in today’s freshman rappers?
So much of the shit coming out today doesn’t really have staying power. Everybody’s making the same [music]. But to have longevity you’ve got to try to make timeless music, to where, no matter what year it came out, you can throw it on and it’s still a great record. MTV and radio perpetuate all that shit, because they’re not designed to cater to the music—they’re designed to attract the most eyes and ears on the ads, not the artists... This is one of the few jobs that you can get without any knowledge of what it’s supposed to be. But if you don’t pay attention, the game will pass you by.
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Happy Birthday, B-Real!

Cypress Hill's fearless leader.

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