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Cypress Hill is an American hip-hop group hailing from South Gate in California, USA. Cypress Hill was the first Latino-American hip hop group to have both platinum and multi-platinum albums.
The group have achieved enormous success, selling over 18 million albums worldwide. Their music style is unusual to say the least: an interesting blend of hip hop, Latin hip hop, Trip hop, West Coast hip hop, hard core hip hop, rap rock, rap metal, nu metal and psychedelic hip hop.
The band formed back in 1988, when brothers Senen Reyes (also known as Sen Dog) and Ulpiano Sergio Reyes (aka Mellow Man Ace) teamed together with Lawrence Muggerud (also known as DJ Muggs) and Louis Freese (also known as B-Real) to form the group DVX (Devastating Vocal Excellence). When the band lost Mellow Man Ace to a solo career they started anew and changed their name to Cypress Hill, after a street in their home town of South Gate.
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In 1989 the band signed with Columbia Records and releases their first album in August 1991. The album was a success, selling two million copies in the USA alone. Following this, their second album (‘Black Sunday’) debuted at the number one spot in 1993. This was a massive deal at the time for a rap group. In 1994 the group were honoured by being named Rolling Stone magazine’s named best rap group in their music awards, voted by critics and readers.
The band has toured with several big names including Ziggy Marley, The Fugees, Busta Rhymes, Rage against the Machine and A Tribe Called Quest. They have also produced covers of classics such as Guns N’ Roses ‘Paradise City’.
The band are known for their distinctive rapping style and the fact that they sing in both Spanish and English. One of the band’s most striking aspects is the exaggeratedly high-pitched nasal vocals of one of their members when rapping.