interview B-REAL (March 2009) | Interview By: Jose Ho-Guanipa

   Dubcnn caught up with B-Real backstage at Paid Dues for an exclusive interview, we discuss his long awaited solo album Smoke & Mirrors, what prompted finally taking the time to release on his own, get the lowdown on his production methods and influences as well as asking about the status of Cypress Hill.

We have the transcript below however we urge you to check out the video.

As ever, you can read this exclusive interview below and we urge you to leave feedback on our forums or email them to jose@dubcnn.com.

Interview was conducted in March 2009 
B-Real // Exclusive Video Interview // Dubcnn

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What’s good this is B-Real the Buddha master backstage at Paid Dues with Dubcnn. You might see me again just check later. Blazin’ it right now.

B Real: Salaam, tell Xzibit Slaughterhouse is on. Slaughterhouse is on. Tell Xzbit.

Dubcnn: What’s up y’all this is Jose with Dubcnn we’re here with B-Real from Cypress Hill.

B-Real: What’s happening bro?

Dubcnn: Chillin’ at the paid Dues festival in San Bernandino. Thanks for coming out, appreciate it. So yeah you just dropped your solo album recently. What was your motivation for that?

B-Real: Well you know, for a long time with Cypress our work schedule was just so crazy that it never gave me time to actually do that. With our last Cypress record with Sony after the deal was done we didn’t’ really have any deadline for another one. I just took my time when everyone else was doing their side projects and I just did mine. So I put it out this year with Duck Down Records and I’ve just been pushing it.

Dubcnn: So you’ve been doing some promotion for it obviously. When’s the video for “Fire” coming out? I saw the making of video for it.

B-Real: That should be soon man. We’re waiting on the final edits of it. Right now we have “Psycho Realm Revolution” out there on Worldstarhiphop, Youtube, and the other outlets there are but yeah the “Fire” one is coming next. It should be hot.

Dubcnn: You produced some of the beats on “Smoke and Mirrors”. How has your production style been evolving as you’ve gained more experience behind the boards?

B-Real: I just pretty much learned a lot by watching Muggs and stuff like that. Whenever I had time off I went and started making beats and learning things from other producers. Watching what they do and listening to how they put together their sh-t. Then, eventually, I started getting on a roll and developing my sound, how I put together tracks. Just as you do it more, you start learning more and you start doing different things than what you did when you started because you’re constantly evolving and progressing and stuff like that. From that album to the Cypress record people will hear a totally different thing because I tried not to do the same thing that I did for my record as what we’re doing for Cypress. I think people will be surprised and I think people will be pumped up from it.

Dubcnn: What kind of equipment do you use to make beats? What’s your set up?

B-Real: I use a combination of things. Mostly for me, I chop the beats up on the MPC 2000 XL, sample off that, chop the beat up and then I’ll add stuff with different keyboards; either a Moog or a Triton or something like that. Then the other instruments, whether it’s guitar or bass I’ll have them come play live and then chop that up, you know, manipulate it however I want to do it over the track. You know it all goes from there.

Dubcnn: Can you tell us about the new Cypress Hill album? What’s it gonna sound like in terms of the sound?

B-Real: It’s gonna be raw hip-hop at it’s core, definitely. We’re definitely gonna be doing some heavy stuff on it as well. At it’s core it’s gonna be rough, raw, rugged, in your face hip-hop; the only way we can do it. That’s the only way we like to do it. We ain’t gonna do everything like everybody else is doing you know what I mean. A lot of records sound the same right now, because people ain’t thinkin’ out of the box. They just following what everybody else is doing. We’ve always been against the grain so that’s what people will hear on our shit. Hopefully they like it.

Dubcnn: Are you gonna be producing any track on the album?

B-Real: Yeah I’ll be producing a few tracks, Muggs is producing, obviously, we got a couple joints from Pete Rock, we’re working with some shit that Alchemist and Evidence gave us. It’s gonna be a good record man, we got a lot of good music on it.

Dubcnn: Do you have any guest appearances on the record?

B-Real: Right now we just got our stuff on it, you know, mine and Sen. Whoever we go out after we’ll probably do that at the very end. We ain’t really reached out to nobody yet but soon enough we gonna be reaching out to the folks that we been wanting to do music with.

Dubcnn: So you talked about the Sony deal being up. What’s going to be the situation with that when you put out the next album (the record label)?

B-Real: For us we’re more focused on, you know, finishing the album and making that piece done already, so by the time we decide who we’re gonna go with the album’s done and all we have to do is master the sequence, you know what I mean. Until we do that we’re not gonna decide where we’re gonna go. I mean there’s people that we’re talking to, but you know it’s all tentative until we feel the album’s done.

Dubcnn: So what’s the timeframe; when do you think you’ll be able to put it out?

B-Real: I think we’re gonna try to knock it out in October. That’s our target date. We’re gonna try to make it coincide with the smokeout we’re doing in October as well. That’s what we’re lookin’ at, we’re looking at trying to get a Cypress Hill Halloween jumpin’ off big.

Dubcnn: What’s new with your paintball team (Stoned Assassins)? How did you get into paintballing?

B-Real: We started playing at a birthday party for Muggs. There was like twenty of us, thirty of us, maybe more. Ten of us really got hooked on it, made a team, started competing in this league called MPPL, now there’s a new league called the USPL and we’re gonna be competing in there. We’re still playing. We took a little time off, but we’re still ballin’ it up.

Dubcnn: What do you think about Obama’s stance on Marijuana? He’s thinking about stopping the federal raids on the grow houses.

B-Real: That’d be great if he does that. There’s a lot of money in legalizing and taxing it and regulation and stuff like that and the government needs it. I know he tried to flick the answer off the other night and said he doesn’t think that that’s what it’s gonna take, but that’s gonna help. So we’ll see what happens.

Dubcnn: Do you think we’ll ever live to see a day where it’s legal here in the US?

B-Real: Possibly, it’s a possibility, anything’s possible. Right now it’s decriminalized in a lot of states actually, I think maybe 15 or 16 have it decriminalized or they have the medical marijuana law in place. It’s a step up, so we’re closer than anybody ever thought we’d be, that’s for sure.

Dubcnn: So you guys (Cypress Hill) haven’t dropped an album in a while and the music industry and the way things worked have kind of changed. What do you think about the way things are right now?

B-Real: I mean it is what it is man, you just gotta roll with the punches and figure out where you can fit in and take advantage of an opportunity and either go with the momentum you have or rebuild. That’s all you can do because the structure of what selling records now is way different than what it was ten years ago, fifteen years ago because of the digital downloads and all that stuff, free downloads. That makes it hard for an artist to sell records, create revenue. The only revenue you can create is through your merchandise and your live show and other opportunities that might come your way depending on the level of success that you have. So you have to create some different types of opportunities for yourself because the way it is, the way that it’s set up, right now it’s set up for everybody losing and the record companies ain’t investing the way they use to in the artist. They don’t invest in artist development for nothing. If it ain’t a hit that they can put on the radio instantly they’re not f-cking with it. You gotta take that to an independent because they’re just looking out for radio success because they think that’s gonna translate to record sales. These days it’s proven that that doesn’t always translate to records sales; not for every artist. So you gotta think of different ways of getting your music out there and selling your music in spite of what you might have with or without radio.

Dubcnn: Are there any new acts hip-hop wise that you kind feel and think are hot lately?

B-Real: This Slaughterhouse thing. A lot of people have been saying a lot of good shit about it and they got a lot of hype. And all of the rappers in that group are just off the f-ckin’ chain. Definitely Slaughterhouse for sure.

Dubcnn: Well thanks for your time, appreciate it.

B-Real: Right on man, thanks for having me.


B-Real // Exclusive Video Drop // Dubcnn

Download The Video: Windows Media
Download The Drop: Windows Media

Press Play to stream footage (Fast Connections Recommended) 

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