Rap veterans Cypress Hill are about to make yet another spectacular comeback this April, as they will release their first album since 2004′s classic Till Death Do Us Part. The new one is suitably entitled Rise Up and will be out on the 20th next month. It has been announced by a first single, It Ain’t Nothin’. As with the previous album, the South Gate gang is finding new ways to expand their sound, while still combining an unforgiven edge with some laid back-laid high grooves. There are also some interesting choices in their guests collaborators. Tom Morello succeeds in making the guys sound like RATM, while the track with Daron Malakian (System of a Down) promises to be something quite different. I have to admit, though, that from the tracks already available on the band’s MySpace, Armada Latina, their chill number featuring Pitbull and Marc Anthony (yes, that’s what it says) is the one with the most classic-potential. Other names featuring on the album: Mike Shinoda, The Alchemist, Kannabis Kartel, Everlast, Young De.
In a recent blog post on his official website, Linkin Park/Fort Minor member, Mike Shinoda gave fans an update on LP’s new LP. The band had their first meeting of the year, regarding the evolution of their future album, expected to be released, sometime in the summer/autumn of this year. It will be their fourth and the follow-up to the successful Minutes to Midnight. The MC seems happy with the way things are going and emphasizes a lot on the new direction of their recent songs. He even talks about initiating a new genre with this one, so the pressure to not repeat themselves seems to be really off. He also teases the army of fans, waiting for any new information: “I was going to tell you guys the working titles…but I changed my mind”, he writes. Though not a concept album, the new material is, so far, tied by “some thematic threads”, the producer also admits. Five songs are almost confirmed, with another 15-20 being worked on, a batch from which the final tracklisting is supposed to be picked. In earlier reports, there was talk of a more electronic sound, Blade Runner-inspired, but, as we all know, an album has many gestation periods, so we’ll just have to wait and hear.
We all know (or do we?) the story of The Prodigy’s The Fat of the Land album and how, because of it, the rave elders of the tribe ruled the world for about two years, before taking a long break. The three singles released from this album, Breathe, Firestarter and Smack My Bitch Up have all made history: the videos included in almost every countdown of controversial mv’s, the tracks covered and remixed by legions of dj’s, they haven’t missed from any live set of the band ever since. But an album does not achieve such success and notoriety on singles alone. Amongst non-single masterpieces like Funky Shit, Mindfields or Climbatize, we also encounter the first official collaboration between Liam Howlett and rapper Kool Keith of Ultramagnetic MCs fame. The hip-hop crew is one of Howlett’s favourite to sample, but this is the first time Kool was actually invited to do the vocals and the lyrics. Before being included on the album, the track used to be played live, known as Blow Ya Mind with Maxim doing some freestylin’ over the beat. The Kool version retained the chorus “Blows your mind drastically, fantastically” and most importantly, the sick d’n'b line, punctuated by a base hit that will test ya speakers and blow ya mind, all in one. It’s interesting that despite hip-hop being one of Howlett’s primal preferences, this is about the only Prodigy tune that would qualify in this genre. It is one of their most powerful tracks, displaying once again Howlett’s ability and pleasure of creating beats that no matter at what volume you play them, they still sound too loud for the neighbours.