Interview: DJ Muggs Talks Recording First Full-Length Cypress Hill LP In Nearly 10 Years

Features

/ October 1, 2013

Cypress Hill fans, rejoice.

After nearly a decade, the original lineup of the iconic California-based hip-hop group will be recording their first full-length album together since 2004’s Til Death Do Us Part. According to DJ Muggs—who previously had handled the bulk of Cypress’ groundbreaking production going back to their self-titled 1991 debut—he’s back in the studio with veteran MCs B-Real and Sen Dog.

“I didn’t do much on the last Cypress album,” explains Muggs, alluding to 2010’s Rise Up project on which he only contributed two tracks. “What I want from the group—and I know what the people want—is just that sound that drew you into Cypress the first three or four albums. What we are doing is making a dark record that’s really avant-garde. We are not even tripping on who is going to play it or what blog is going to get behind it. We have never given a fuck. We are just going to make a real dark Cypress Hill record.”

Muggs insists that there was never any beef between the longtime friends and collaborators. He chalks up his time apart from Cypress Hill with members wanting to stretch their artistic legs.

“The last few records they just wanted to try something different,” he says. “I pretty much handled all their records, all the production, so I was like, ‘Cool.’ I needed to do things for other inspiration. Sometimes I will leave hip-hop alone for a year. It kind of cleans the palette so I can come back in and want to make hip-hop.”

While B and Sen went for a more live band sound and oversaw the growth of Cypress Hill’s successful Smokeout Festival, Muggs collaborated with alternative music maverick Tricky on 1999’s Juxtapose, taken on trip-hop and psychedelic rock with 2003’s Dust and produced the dubstep inspired 2012 album Bass For Your Face. Muggs adds that he is working on a diverse range of new projects.

“I got a new band that I’m in called Cross My Heart Hope To Die,” he shares. “It’s some real melodic, dark shit with a female singer. I’m also working on some electronica albums with some new kids. And I’m doing a project with Mayhem Lauren out of New York. He’s Action Bronson’s partner and it’s a real gritty New York type record. I’m inspired to still make new music, so I just have fun.”

Muggs says Cypress Hill followers can expect a new album next summer. Until then you can catch the group on the road.

“We are going to do two weeks in Latin America,” he says. “I did like a four-month DJ tour, so I just took some time off to work on this new Cypress Hill record. I’m going to be in the studio for the next five months just finishing up these projects. We are in beautiful Southern California, dude. I live on the beach. I workout, go for a run, hit the studio for five or six hours, get some dinner and come right back to the studio. That’s my life for the next five months.” —Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)