Video: Talking 'Cypress X Rusko'
Cypress Hill has shared the stage with many performers over the years.
But this was different, for a couple of reasons.
First, frontmen B-Real and Sen Dog were joined by Rusko, a 27-year-old English dubstep DJ and Cypress Hill collaborator. Second, they were being interviewed by Lakers forward Metta World Peace at the Lakers practice gym.
B-Real, a Los Angeles fixture and a Lakers season-ticket holder since the team moved into Staples Center in 1999, has sold millions of albums and traveled all over the world. He's counted former Lakers Shaquille O'Neal and Lamar Odom as friends. But this was a new experience.
"It's the first time I've been at the practice facility," B-Real said. "It was a cool experience to see these guys warm it up and shoot it around."
World Peace and B-Real have worked together in the past, on World Peace's song, "Go Loco." So when the time came for Cypress Hill to discuss the new project, an EP called "Cypress X Rusko," World Peace suggested he do the interview.
B-Real said experimenting with dubstep follows the path the band has blazed (pun intended) for the past 20 years.
"During the course of our career, we've always managed to go outside of even our own box," he said. "We started experimenting with the heavier sound, with live instruments and rock. We like to challenge ourselves."
The Rusko pairing came almost as a direct result of Cypress' fans.
"I DJ from time to time, on our live streams that we do on breal.tv and someone asked me why we don't spin dubstep music," he said of the electronic music growing in popularity. "I don't have a dubstep library, so I asked fans to send me a list of songs they'd like me to spin."
"They sent me over like 500 songs," he said, laughing. "The ones that really caught my ear were the ones by Rusko and Mala and other artists. I thought, 'It'd be cool to collaborate with this guy. The tracks would be crazy.' We decided to sit down and vibe out and see if we had a good vibe together. He came to our studio and we hung out and talked music."
"The very next time we worked on a track, we loved the way it came out."
The result was the first single, "Roll It, Light It" which led Cypress Hill to commit to the whole EP, which will be released this month.
"We could sit back and be complacent and do the formula that we know works," B-Real said. "To an artist, that gets old to recycle. This day and age, you have to have an edge somewhere."
Back at the practice gym, B-Real (real name Louis Freeze) was able to avoid dispensing any wisdom to his Lakers, despite always having an opinion about the team.
"My whole thing is giving them time to grow with this new system. There are definitely new faces, a new system, a new vibe and everything," he said. "I expect them to snap into it in a short season and be the Lakers we all know."
And like Cypress Hill adding a little youth to the mix with Rusko, B-Real thinks the addition of point guard Ramon Sessions gives the Lakers a shot in the arm.
"They're actually looking really good right now putting Sessions into the mix. He's fast, he makes things happen. I was happy they didn't trade [Andrew] Bynum or [Pau] Gasol for Dwight Howard. I don't think that's what they needed," he said. "They got Ramon and he's what we needed. We needed a fast point guard with good instincts."
And he praised another big move by a former Laker, the purchase of the Dodgers by Magic Johnson's group.
"Man, that was great news. The Magic man, anything he touches turns to gold, man," B-Real said. "Plus, he's just a great guy. And people love Magic -- all the stuff he's done for L.A. -- besides winning championships. He's created a lot of jobs. He's continuing to just blow people away and be that great icon that we all know he can be. I'm happy for him, for his group, but most of all I'm happy for the L.A. Dodgers and the fans, because this team is going to be propelled to where it should be: Right alongside the Lakers."
Video produced by: ROYAL Interactive Studios
Directed by: Guy Logan
Edited by: Kali Knowles