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- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Back in 1996, the marijuana loving LA Latinos Cypress Hill released an EP of unreleased tracks and remixes of songs from past albums that none of their hardcore fans could pass up. "Unreleased & Revamped" was the first album from the group I ever picked up, though I'd heard all their past hits and such. With a host of big names remixing some of the old favourites from the group and with the whole project clocking in at a short 35 minutes, I thought this would be an easy way to get into introduction to their music. And who wouldn't want to hear an album of previously unreleased material from Cypress Hill?
As I said before, the album's only 35 minutes long, with just nine tracks making it up, so there's no room for filler anywhere. That's not a problem on this CD. They start things off well with the Fugees (Refugee Camp) remixing "Boom Biddy Bye Bye," which works well on all fronts. Not to be disrespectful to Sen Dog, but B-Real's the rapper who really leads the group and brings things togthwe, which shows through on the opener. Wyclef and B-Real trade shots with Lauryn Hill bringing the chorus, all adding up to a track that won't ever require the skip button.
The skip button isn't needed at all on "Unreleased & Revamped," especially when you get as far as track six, my personal favourite track on the album. Cypress Hill shows their true smoking selves with the remix of "Hits From the Bong," originally produced by DJ Muggs but this time mixed by T-Ray. B-Real steals the show for sure on this one, with his eerie nasal flow spitting the killer first verse:
"Pick it, pack it, fire it up, come alooong,
And take hits from the booong,
Put the Blnnt down just for a second,
Don't get me wrong is not a new method,
Inhale, exhale - just got a ounce in the mail"
You can pretty much feel the smoke when you listen to this cut, but there other tracks on the album that are certified bangers. DJ Muggs remixes "Hand On The Pump," which is another smokey banger and a good demonstration of Cypress Hill's storytelling talents, but B-Real is once again running it over the mellow thump of the beat:
"Well I'm an alley cat, some say a dirty rat,
On my side is my gat, see I'm all of that,
Sendin' off buck shots for I'm gonna wethca,
Running hard, but I'm still coming to getcha"
There's a real trip back in Cypress Hill's catalogue with "Latin Lingo," this one remixed by none other than Prince Paul, really enhancing the song that all Cypress Hill fans can remember the words to. As well as being able to remember all the words with ease, all Cypress Hill fans will be more than pleased with what Prince Paul's done to the track. A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip remixes "Illusions," another weed smoking cut, with a beat that's too relaxed for words. B-Real and Sen Dog get behind the mic and as slickly as if they were on a quality high - which they may well have been - and all the verses sound unforced, which really brings the song together. Redman, Erick Sermon and MC Eiht are on "Throw Ya Hands In The Air," which is another classic from Cypress Hill's unreleased catalogue. I have no idea how this never made it onto a full length album; this joint's straight heat.
Though the originals will be well known already, the remixes are worth investing in, whether you're a hardcore or casual Cypress Hill fan. The weed fanatics from LA have got a lot of creativity at their disposal, and if you slept on this for almost an entire decade then wake up. Cypress Hill ain't all about blazing weed, "Unreleased & Revamped" helps show that.