Snoop Dogg may have coined the phrase, "Went solo on that ass but it's still the same", but fellow Cali rapper B-Real has perfected it. After nearly two decades as part of the groundbreaking trio Cypress Hill (the first Latino hip-hop group to go platinum), B-Real has broken out on his own but still maintains his allegiance to rhyme partners Sen Dog and DJ Muggs.
"I've been wanting to do a solo project for a while now, but had always dedicated my creative time to Cypress", confirms B-Real, who was honoured alongside his fellow band mates during VH1's Hip-Hop Honours 2008. "Since we weren't in a rush to record a new Cypress record, I took the time to explore my own thing as an artist, producer and label owner".
With platinum plaques, classic singles, Grammy nominations, a Billboard Award, appearances on Saturday Night Live, successful world tours and hip-hop icon status all on his resume, B-Real is ready for the next chapter in his storied career. In 2008, the West Coast O.G. signed a deal with East Coast-based Duck Down Records to distribute his production company / label, Audio Hustlaz.
With the indie powerhouse's backing, B-Real is ready to present his long overdue solo debut Smoke N Mirrors, which promises to offer faithful listeners the same calibre of material they've come to expect from Cypress Hill, but with a sound and style all his own. "The music will be different in the production, content, flow and delivery", says B-Real. "I don't want to piggyback off of the Cypress sound, I want it to be different".
Fan's first taste of his brand new flavour is the gritty street single "Don't Ya Dare Laugh". Produced by Scoop Deville and featuring B-Real's Philadelphia protégé Young De, the record offers up a vivid depiction of life on the streets of L.A. The official lead single, however, is the Damian Marley-guested smoker's anthem "Fire", which finds B-Real flexing his beatmaking skills behind the boards – a practice he employs several times on the album.
Other key highlights include contributions from Snoop Dogg ("Dr. Hyphenstein"), Buckshot ("Everything You Want"), Too $hort and Kurupt ("When We're F***ing"), and Sen Dog and Malverde ("One Life"). "After this release I will keep it moving with the new Cypress record", says B-Real.
B-Real's "Smoke N Mirrors" album is in stores February 24th, 2009, courtesy of Audio Hustlaz / Duck Down Records.