Wow what a coincidence! It's April 20th and both the new Cypress Hill CD and Cheech and Chong DVD dropped today! Amazing. That's right, the new Cypress Hill CD, Rise Up, hit shelves today. Being a long time fan of the Hill, I immediately picked it up. It's been a few years and I was looking forward to giving it a listen.
Let me start by saying that a lot of the songs had a "lo-fi" feel to them. It works on some songs, on others, not so much. There are a lot of great guest artists on the album. Tom Morello, Mike Shinoda, Everlast, Mark Anthony, and Pitbull just to name a few. I wasn't aware that Evidence and the Alchemist were also on the record and I was pleasantly surprised to see them on the fourth track, "Pass the Dutch". If you're not familiar with them, stop reading this and pick up some Dilated Peoples records, right now.
Yes, there are references to marijuana on this record. There are also sketches by Cheech and Chong. If you've heard a Cypress Hill album before you know what you're getting yourself into. The Morello songs are good ("Rise Up" and "Shut 'Em Down") but nothing special, it's like they really wanted them to be these epic, kick ass songs, but they kind of just fall flat. Besides they've done it before on Skull and Bones, and they did it better.
"Carry Me Away" is one of the better tracks on the album, it works. "Armanda Latina" seemed like a bad idea at first. It's the song that's been playing on the radio, so you may have heard it. Marc Anthony, really? Well, it might be the best song on the album. B-Real flows on it, the hook works, and it's catchy. A bit pop-ish, sure, but Cypress Hill has always been right on the edge.
I'm not a music critic by any means, so take this all with a grain of salt. I'm also a little bias as Cypress Hill is one of my favorite bands, so I'm going to have to give it...wait a minute. Stars won't work, that's played out and it's not the Fandad way.
So, as much as it pains me, I'm going to give Rise Up, 2 four sided dice out of 4.