Sen Dog in conversation...

Cuban-American-Latino hip-hop group Cypress Hill are from South Gate, California. They are a famous American hip-hop/rap group who have gone on to have platinum and multi-platinum albums with over 18 million albums sold worldwide. Best known for West Coast rap and hip-hop in general, they are a critically acclaimed group with their first two groundbreaking albums pushing them to global superstardom.

Between 1996-2002, Sen Dog took a break from Cypress Hill to form a Los Angeles rap rock band SX-10. Soon, Cypress Hill appeared on the ‘Smokin’ Grooves’ tour featuring Ziggy Marley, The Fugees, Busta Rhymes and A Tribe Called Quest. Other members such as DJ Muggs also decided to take the solo path for a while and he created/released Soul Assassins: Chapter 1, which featured Dr. Dre, KRS One, Wyclef Jean and Mobb Deep.

However, returning to 2012, Cypress Hill have hooked up with dub step producer Rusko to create a combination of dub step, rap, hip-ho and reggae. It is a unique mesh of influences, which also features a collaboration with Damain Marley. Rusko met Cypress Hill about a year ago, while they had already performed with Damain Marley before. This highly anticipated EP “Cypress X Rusko” is a serious blend of heavy rap over hardcore/aggressive dub step. Now known to the world as hip-hop legends, Cypress Hill teams up with Rusko for there digitally released EP on 4th June 2012, so it’s available to purchase on iTunes etc. Here Sen Dog of Cypress Hill catches up with Matthew Daniel, a new music journalist for Clash Music Magazine.

Hey, how are you? Sen Dog says, “Hey man, what’s up?” You’ve released a new EP with Rusko. You’ve got a collaboration with reggae icon Damain Marley. How was it working with those guys? “Well, with Damain Marley we already did a few shows together and a couple tours. And then with Rusko, we met him like last year. We wanted to do a song with him, working with him was cool too because he used a style of production I had never been around. According to the music that we wrote to and he sent back was completely different. I got a really big kick out of that”, says Sen Dog. He continues, “I just can’t wait to hear what he is gonna come back with. Working with both of those guys is really cool because they’re both highly creative and when you’re around creative people, it inspires you to be created, you know”.

How did you go from the extreme change of heavy hip-hop to a dub step EP? “We’ve always been known to try something different musically and stuff, we wanted to try something else to mess with, at that point we just had to walk that line of what is cool and what is weird. And every time we experiment with something we come up with some interesting styles. I mean, trying to produce some rhymes over dub step wasn’t as far fetched to us as it might be for the rest of the world. We’ve listened to some dub step you know, and there’s definitely a groove in it”, admits Sen Dog. “It’s all about us meeting in the middle with the producers and 50/50. And it’s making sure we represent our art form correctly. It’s not all the way hard core dub step or all the way hard core hip-hop with the lyrics, we met in the middle, we met and we mesh well”.

Being famous, worldwide, how would you define success? “I’d define success as longevity, you know. Or can have early success, quick success and achieve it over and over again. To get your band or music to that pivotal point where different generations listen to your music or the generation you start out with. That’s one definition of success, but musically, success is definitely judged on longevity and how long you can actually do it”

Next, Sen Dog gives advice on how to make it in the cut throat music industry for up coming artists, “I would say to them if you can dream about it and you can envision yourself being on stage in rocking 85, 000 people. If you have that much belief in yourself doing it, and your not even there yet keep doing it! I was like that in high school, I would listen to Run DMC and I would just see myself have that kind of belief in me and I would see myself being like them one day”

He continues, “Whenever I was around DJ Muggs and B-Real there was a higher purpose for us than being just friends, something was gonna jump off eventually and I believe that in my heart, if you can see yourself be that person then go do it, somebody’s gotta do it”.

- - -

'Lez Go' is out now.

Follow Clash: