Cypress Hill - Rise Up

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With a few hits of the old, and a few pulls of the new, Rise Up promises pleasant surprises for longtime fans and new listeners alike.

With a spliff in rotation and their middle fingers in the air towards the DEA, west coast legends Cypress Hill have returned after a six-year hiatus with their eighth studio album entitled Rise Up. Finally detached from the Ruffhouse/Columbia/Sony umbrella, it seems as if Cypress has taken the opportunity that the relocation of their recording freedom presented them to try some new tricks. With a few hits of the old, and a few pulls of the new, Rise Up promises pleasant surprises for longtime fans and new listeners alike.


Of undeniable importance on Rise Up are the features. With notable names such as Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine and Street Sweeper Social Club), Evidence, Alchemist, Mike Shinoda (of Linkin Park and Fort Minor), Daron Malakian (of System of a Down), and Marc Anthony all on the roster, listeners can be sure from the start that there will be something suited to their tastes to be found on the LP. In fact, many of the album’s strongest tracks are those that boast guest spots. A prime example lies in the title track, featuring Tom Morello. B-Real assumes a Zack De La Rocha-esque role, while Sen Dog backs him up with lines like “I go psycho, crazy Michael Myers / And set the stage on fire, go higher/ ‘Cause when our name’s on a flyer / There’s so much smoke it makes the whole city rise up.” Morello and his guitar provide the perfect high energy to keep crowds moving with revolutionary spirit, living up to the album’s name. Where “Rise Up” provides a heavily Rock-influenced sound, “Pass the Dutch” (featuring Evidence and Alchemist) will satisfy Cypress Hill’s diehard pothead followers with its less-polished, '90s sound, and the raps designed to merge earth and fire; the green to the flame.

When left on their own, the fellas of Cypress Hill don’t always live up to their reputation. The electric guitar-centric “Get It Anyway” sounds more tailored toward One Republic and an eventual Timbaland remix than to B-Real and Sen Dog’s vocals. Hearing the same people who once pondered about how they could “just kill a man” speak about perseverance and optimism over something so soothing on the ears is slightly shocking when one isn’t expecting it. “Get Up” simply isn’t that memorable, and “K.U.S.H.,” (which in this context stands for "Keeps Us So High"), although clever, becomes borderline cheesy. Despite a welcome nod to their past by namedropping “Dr. Greenthumb,” one has to wonder if Cheech & Chong references in weed raps are even worth saying anymore.

B-Real’s signature high-pitched voice shines on the Pete Rock-produced ode to smoking entitled “Light It Up.” He boasts, “I eat emcees up / You might wanna ease up / I squeeze the trigger like I squeeze on a C-cup / The beat is like crack now you might wanna re-up / Pete Rock hit us with the heat rock / Ease up.” He then switches it up on the second standout track featuring Tom Morello, “Shut ‘em Down,” and shows his revolutionary side as he threatens, “Wars on the newscast / Caught another newsflash / Heard about a new tax / What if I refuse that?” Although Rise Up has some truly excellent production and surprising in-studio collaborations, DJ Muggs' reduced role is peculiar to a group with such an established sound. The group still keeps it true, but with such an active Soul Assassin churning out projects with Planet Asia and GZA as well as compilations, fans may just want to know: why?

As the relaxed sounds of Latin-style drums and acoustic guitar riffs on “Armada Latina” , featuring Marc Anthony and Pitbull, close out Rise Up, those who have followed their work over the years may react to the work with a slight confusion. The LP shows that Cypress Hill has evolved, however the fact that this evolution is perhaps positive and tolerable may take a few listens. However it’s likely that as Anthony sings “ay Caribe, la tierra de mi gente Hermosa,” Cypress’ audience will have felt persuaded enough to give Rise Up its needed replay.

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54 Comments

  • RandomFollowa

    This is better than a 3.5/5. I'd give a 4/5, I wasn't even disappointed, I wasn't exactly expecting a classic like some.

  • big braveheart

    Not bad, solid enough effort but the whole mixing rap with rock vibe of Cypress has taken away the edge that made the first 3 lps some damn dope. Not bad but not up there with the true classics. Pete Rock produced Light It Up is cool but the album lacks the production of Muggs, who only produces 2 tracks, what happened?

  • Kay W

    A big disapointment, to think these are the same rappers who made rock superstar and insane in the membrane, seem like they couldn't live up to the hype

  • Jonan

    I was pleased with what Cypress Hill had to offer, I wasn't exactly expecting something over the top but nothing below average. My expectations were reached, and they were definitely good. I love Carry Me Away.

  • CHi-reppin

    Damn, these niggas still got a fan base? I was over them after the Juice soundtrack.

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  • kjns

    KUSH NAP: No beef between Muggs and Cypress as far as i'm aware. MUggs just got tired of the whole C.Hill thing and wanted to move on and work on other projects. That's why he is barely featured on this new record.

  • Gonzalo

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  • TELL THE WORLD MY NAME

    I don't see whats wrong w/ the rock tracks at all. I truly feel sorry for anyone that ONLY listens to rap. This is a top to bottom dope album, no if, ands, or buts. Great comeback for Cypress Hill. I'm still kinda buggin' that Muggs only did 2 tracks on this.

    • kush nap

      if you gonna do the rap/rock thing, you cant find a better guy than tom morello. a guy that knows, loves, and understands hip hop music the way it was. he produced rage against the machine, enough said. i think this album is solid, just doesnt feel like a cypress record. the rap/rock tracks are done right. b's flow is crazy on that joint with the kid from system of a down. cypress can still make a classic. just get back with muggs. anyone know why muggs is hardly featured? is there some kinda of power struggle or beef goin on behind the scenes?

  • kpanilaryea28

    yo the hip hop tracks are all dope the rock ones... nope!

  • Deebo Detroit

    this album was pretty good

  • sheshbesh

    I'm not a big fan of Cypress Hill, but most of the tracks in this album were reaaalllyy good! I just wish they hadn't done that entire rap-rock thing with half the album, it doesn't sound right...

  • dirtysouthernhotshot

    This album is an interesting comeback for Cypress Hill, they've always been one of my favourite groups. It Ain't Nothing is a sick song, the beat is so banging and they all go hard. Carry Me Away is probably the most touching song Cypress have released, the lyrics are so heartfelt, so real, just profound. The collabs with Morello are entertaining, and I also like Get It Anyway, it's such a 'fuck you' song haha. Like everyone else I was disappointed by the apparent absence of Muggs on the boards; I would have really like to hear some solo production from him, here's hoping the next album will be based more on his beats. Overall, a good and enjoyable listening experience with some absolute bangers on there, I commend Cypress for trying out new things in an age where hip hop seems to rely on a hideously predictable and formulaic approach to albums, they are still in the 'Best of the West' category for me.

  • ILL 213

    I Think the album is genius a different flavor never hurts anybody. With stuff like lil wayne and gucci maine you need artists to come up with stuff that don't sound like the rest.

  • Don Lopez

    well . i kinda like the older cypress hill like black sunday TEMPLES OF BOOM and Lowrider. this album is more of a rock album. not something i can really bump on dat gangsta tip...i kinda felt the same dissapointed -but-whatever- feeling i had for snoops malice and wonderland and more malice. i wish there were more albums you could just play through.. whatever still a huge cypress hill fan! need more of that gangsta shit tho

  • kush nap

    i dont love this album but i bought it anyway. its got some classic hill though, and b-real and sen dog are both still dope as fuck. when you drop as many classics and been around as long as cypress, youll get fans thatll support anything you do. i think they still got a classic in them, they just need to click up with muggs and record the entire album under his supervision. muggs is better than ever, his 2 joints on this are fuckin flames.

  • Cash Mo

    BOUGHT my copy today and really didn't like it at all !!! Wasted my 10 bucks, man there's only a couple track thats OK including IT AIN'T NOTHIN. Should have just downloaded it, oh well its done now. Plus the rock/metal tracks just pissed me off, its wack (MY OPINION)

  • kpanilaryea28

    I LIKE IT MINUS THE METAL SONGS B REAL CAN STILL SPIT!

  • jjet

    love it! creative production - RISE UP

  • Dr. Deadbeat

    hiphopdx FUCK YOU!!! & FUCK the stupid bitch that wrote this article... I hope someone socks this bitch in her motherfuckin' face!!!

  • socka locka lame

    oh it do it! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!

  • socka locka lame

    oh it do it! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!

  • damn sonson

    before i even read the review i knew it was gonna be 3 1/2. what happened hiphopdx? ya'll fallin off big time. i guarantee when that drake shit drop its gonna get a 5 tho, ya'll on his nuts like everybody else.

  • WHOSHOTCAM

    can rate the album.. the video is weak as water.. another old group trying to restore order by threating a tone and vocab of violence.. we don't need this in the game.. your skills are lacking, especially the flow.. the beat is actually solid for "it ain't nothing".. it's a new sound, untraditional cypress, but they took it safe and just talked the lingo of gang activity and guns, etc. you can see it in their eyes they don't really want to go there anymore.. and they shouldn't.. this song could have been a reflective song on how they regret some of the things they've been a part of.. did i mention the video was weak? how about that chorus.. the groups need to hire some of their old fans as A&R's and executive producers.. still can't take away from their early music and energy, just that they've lost sight of the passion they had for music, and the energy behind their motives.. weed catches up to you.. its a peace drug, don't understand why gang violence and tough talk would be combo'd with a hippie drug..

    • kjns

      well said. Cypress have lost their way. They don't know what they stand for anymore. On 'Till Death Do Us Part' there were vague signs of reflection, while there are none on this record. B-Real is trying to cover too many bases and this approach rarely ever works. you end up pleasing no one. Cypress should be making albums for their hardcore fanbase right now. They need to forget about the mainstream. THey are too old for that shit.

    • kush nap

      weed is a peace drug. b-real is the first to come from the gangsta pothead angle. the ima get high, then ima send you to the sky shit is b-reals bread and butter. and weed doesnt make you soft. MMA fighters toke heavy. mike tyson could smoke a blunt and body a hallway with his bare hands. lyrically i got no complaints about this album. i just wish muggs was down. i wanna know what the fuck happened.

  • Drucifer1983

    Its okay, but it just doesnt feel like a cypress hill album without DJ Muggs producing, I look at it more in the same light as B-Real's Smoke N Mirrors record, its still good but its not a cypress hill album IMO

  • kjns

    This record is kind of like Stoned Raiders, where the group tried to appeal to all the different factions of their audience with mixed results. It's a good record, but it's a little too commercial(for them), plus it's uneven too, but that's inevitable really. B-Real's beats suck too.

  • b haze

    Haven't heard all the songs but the ones I did I was not disapointed. Who reviews these albums anyway, fucken retards if you ask me.

  • DaPoPoPoppa

    Are you serious they don't even mention one of the best songs on the album in the review?? "Carry Me Away" feat. Mike Shinoda is amazing!!! I think hip hop forgets that just cause he's in one of the biggest rock groups on the planet that he is "real" hip hop head and don't pay him any mind. Fuck DX's reviews.

  • Jonan

    I really like this album, Cypress Hill hasn't disappointed me. Gonna cop

  • Gonzalo

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  • scottthe soulassassin

    Honestly one of the best Cypress Records in years. Constantly matureing and not affraid to try different shit. Being a big supporter of them I am biased but it's time to give them (Hip-Hop Legends) theire just due's. Deffiantly worth your money for the dudes that listened to them in the 90"s

  • Jae Havoc

    Lost my review, fuck. anyways, to sum it up, album is fire with a few weak joints sprinkled in), most that won't like it live in a box. great tracks: Light it up (Pete Rock's best beat in a long time) Rise Up (Tom Morello...case closed) Pass The Dutch (good 90s shit) Carry Me Away (Mike Shinoda has never made a weak beat as far as Im concerned) Trouble Seeker (hook riff is siiiick) Take My Pain (I love this track) Shut Em Down (Tom again) Armada Latina (If you don't like this, you need to meet some latinas)

  • MamaSaidKnockYouOut

    The album is great, replay value is guaranteed. A few tracks aren't so strong but the beats are fire, lyrics are mainly dope and the album may have a 'rock' feel to it but I asure you that it's still hip-hop. Real rap fans will eat this shit up for what it is - a very good, solid album from some of hip-hop's finest. One thing that I promised myself I wasn't gonna say (but imma have to cause it's a joke) is that this review got a same 3.5* rating as most reviews aon here. You serious? Wale's album was great and that got 3.5*, Gucci's album got it as well? Riiight... Step your review game up people.

  • kush nap

    omg what a suprise another 3.5 from dx! you guys fuckin suck when it comes to reviews. either grow some balls, and be honest, or dont review anything you pussy foot faggots. this album needs muggs. period. b-real and sen dog sound great. but muggs is missing. i dont think its a coincidence that the 2 muggs tracks are the illest joints on the album. love the pete rock track. love the tom morella tracks. the joint by jim jonsin is fuckin dope too, that marc anthony/pitbull cut is garbage. i dont know why muggs is missin, but its fucked up. its like a gangstarr album droppin with 2 premier beats. hardly cypress. muggs might be better than ever. why not use him? even still. i gotta respect b-real for his longevity, hed murder alot of these faggots hoppin on the mic in 2010 without breakin a sweat. timeless.

    • ViciousTrampe

      not at all, i dont make threats on the internet. I am not mad at about your arguments with the review, nor your thoughts or disagreements. All i ask is that you speak with a little respect, especially to a lady. I am no bodyguard or none of that, i barely comment on these boards. I gave you my contacts, so just get at me and we can talk about this like men if you want. I have nothing to hide my friend, but it seems like you have a lot of "statements" to make but wont let the ppl know who you really are. 1

    • ViciousTrampe

      i dropped my 2 cents gave you my contacts, im not the one hiding behind a screen sir. TTYS lil fruit ;)

    • kush nap

      is that a threat you bitch ass nigga? i got the whole dx team turning into internet tough guys. you gonna meet up with a nigga just cuz im dissing this wack ass review? the review was bullshit, and the reviewer didnt work hard on it. if she did, she needs to be fired. no depth, no reference, wack review. i bet amanda doesnt own one cypress album. frauds are dictating whats hot, and whats not. i didnt know dx team hired bodyguards for they garbage review team. eat a dick vicious.

    • MICrophone Tone

      Keep doing your thing DX!!! Best hip-hop site hands down!

    • ViciousTrampe

      don't *

    • ViciousTrampe

      The thing that SOME people don't understand is that everyone has their own opinion and views, so for you to reply and disagree with the review is fine. State your reasons why, argue good points and leave it at that. But nowadays people gotta get there hate on and just because someone else doesn't agree with their opinion they gotta flip out because they get there way. So before you call someone a "pussy foot faggot" remember that everyone has there own views, thoughts and opinions, just like YOU! Show some respect to some of these writers who put in so much work and have so much respect for this culture! And next time leave your name instead of an alias, you know the writers and mine is Mike Trampe twitter.com/mikeofhiphopdx hit me up if you wanna find out why my Alias is Vicious ;)

    • DX Fam A Lam

      With 500 words, it's hard to review records. On a 5-scale system (which this site has used for over a decade, 3.5's ARE going to happen...a lot. Few records released are BAD enough to be 0-1.5. Few records released are great in the 4.5-5.0 field. Sadly, most reviews you read are between 2 and 4. We apologize for the redundancies. Rap would be more fun if there were more GREAT records. I appreciate the support, but our review writing team includes writers who frequently are published in Source, XXL, VIBE, Murder Dog, Urb, etc etc etc, some dating back to 1990. We just wanna stress that. This ain't no bedroom/basement operation.

    • kush nap

      this is a premium website. top notch interviews, 24/7 updates, audio/visual crack, news... dx is top class homie. but the review section always been bullshit. i wanna see it improve and the dx review team is on the defense. amanda, how long you been listening to hip hop? did you get paid for this review? if you did, you should give it to me, so i can wipe my ass with it. you didnt even mention the joint muggs produced with everlast "take my pain". track was a standout, you coulda built on that, but you dont know shit about hip hop. dx higher ups if you read this fire these 2 defensive flunkies and hire some ppl that actually love and know their hip hop music.

    • amanda.b

      on top of that, they complain about the 3.5 rating then give it a 3 themselves. never in my life have I heard someone angry because they AGREE.

    • DX Fam A Lam

      Why do you keep reading and commenting if you hate our reviews so much? Who does a better job, so we can learn from your criticism?

  • nm504

    this album is dope cypress hill is back

  • Really Doe

    I think the Muggs think sucks, but I also felt like this group got too rocknroll. Hate the Pitbull record, really dig the video for "it aint nothing"

  • HoodGrown

    Good to see Cypress back. I'mma have to cop this.