B-Real, 'Smoke N Mirrors' (Duck Down)

Critical Mass
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by Will Dukes

Los Angeles' Cypress Hill, with their G'd-up-stoner-dude-meets-Beelzebub aesthetic, always represented an exceptional sonic mélange. And on his solo debut, Cypress frontman B-Real exemplifies his group's madcap versatility. He trades vigorous barbs with Damian Marley ("Fire") and spits spirited Spanglish over buoyant guitar ("1 Life"). The clichéd "Gangsta Muzik" is a cumbersome drag, but on "Everything U Want," featuring Black Moon's Buckshot, the elder statesman still holds forth like a helium-breathing demon.

Listen: B-Real, "Dr Hyphenstein (ft. Snoop Dogg)"

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