'Skull & Bones' is the latest effort by these Latino rap moguls, known as Cypress Hill. Unfortunately this double album might have been more appropriately dubbed the 'Weak & Strong'.
Cypress Hill recorded 17 tracks for this album, all of which would have fit on to one compact disc. However, they chose to separate the tracks on to two discs. The first disc entitled "Skull Disc," breathes of their typical style packed with indo-fluid rap. This album was quite weak. It comprised 11 tracks, but only a few proved appealing. Their first single, "(Rap) Superstar" weaves the tale of life under the big lights while in the driver seat of superstardom. "Can I Get A Hit", provides an appealing chorus of a typical theme. "Another Victory", reverberates of a syntho-violin, reminding me of a Puff Daddy-ish beat. Although remolded to fit Cypress Hill's style perfectly. Apart from these three tracks, the "Skull Disc" gave the impression that Cypress Hill wants to evolve onward to the style permeated on the "Bones Disc."
Cypress Hill's best music is produced when they just let loose. The 'Skull Disc' has a forced feeling, as if they had to conform to their old style to please their fans. This flow backfires and leaves the disc padded with weak material.
Now for the best part: The 'Bones Disc' was amazing! It comprises only six tracks. Cypress Hill simply lets loose and re-emphasizes that their transformation from Latino rappers to a hardcore rap metal group is a necessity. Wyclef Jean entitled the rap metal style as "Rip Rock", and every one of the tracks on the 'Bones Disc' conforms to that billing. All six tracks blew my mind! They pumped me up, and nearly fooled me into thinking that Cypress Hill had been a metal band all their life.
If you're a Cypress Hill fan, then this album is a necessity for your collection. They shown glimpses of their rap metal potential, but with the 'Bones Disc' there will be no looking back. This album is revolutionary for Cypress Hill, and shows the path that should be followed in the future. I didn't enjoy the 'Skull Disc' that much, but the 'Bones Disc' was amazing. So overall, this a fairly worthwhile purchase.
(Originally posted on HipHopCanada.com)
This review was written May 19, 2000