Friday, April 10, 2015

I is for... Insane In The Brain

Cypress Hill is an American hip hop group from South Gate, California.  

Cypress Hill was the first Latino-American hip hop group to have platinum and multi-platinum albums, selling over 18 million albums worldwide. They are considered to be amongst the main progenitors of West Coast rap and Hip hop in the early 1990s, being critically acclaimed for their first two albums. The band has also been important for the advocacy of medical and recreational use of cannabis in the United States.

Senen Reyes (also known as Sen Dog) and Ulpiano Sergio Reyes (also known as Mellow Man Ace) are brothers who initially lived in South Gate, California. In 1971, their family had immigrated to the United States from Cuba. In 1988, the two brothers teamed up with Lawrence Muggerud (also known as DJ Muggs) and Louis Freese (also known as B-Real) to form a hip-hop group named DVX (Devastating Vocal Excellence). The band soon lost Mellow Man Ace to a solo career, and changed their name to Cypress Hill, after a street in South Gate.

The sound and groove of their music, produced by Muggs, is notable for its spooky sounds and stoned aesthetic; with its bass-heavy rhythms and odd sample loops ("Insane in the Brain" is notable for having a pitched-altered horse neigh looped in its chorus), it carries a psychedelic value, which lessened in the later albums.

"Insane in the Brain" was released in 1993 and in addition to hitting number 1 on the US rap chart, the song also was a surprise crossover hit, reaching #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1993. It was highly successful in other countries. The song was released on the group's Black Sunday album.

The popular lyric "Insane in the membrane" is sometimes confused for the title.

According to B-Real, the song was actually a diss song aimed at Chubb Rock. The group felt Chubb had ridiculed their style on his 1992 album I Gotta Get Mine Yo.

It is claimed that DJ Muggs produced the song "Jump Around" by House of Pain, which was later used to produce this song, with minor changes.

The song is built around many samples: a repeating sample of a horse from Mel and Tim's "Good Guys Only Win in the Movies"; a drum break from organist George Semper's cover version of Lee Dorsey's "Get Out of My Life, Woman"; a sample of James Brown grunting from the opening of his song "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud"; a sample of the line "insane in the brain" from Cypress Hill's own song "Hole in the Head"; the opening keyboard from Sly & the Family Stone's "Life" and a sample of the line "I think I'm going crazy" from The Youngbloods's "All Over the World (La La)," which concludes the track.

And now for today's Earworm:

What does tomorrow bring?

Will it be Jethro Tull?  Jeff Scott Soto?  Johnny Hates Jazz?

or maybe "Jack & Diane"?  "Just The Two Of Us"?  "Jungle Love"?

or perhaps a genre - J-Rock? Jazz? Jitterbug?

Tune in to find out!

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