Album: Cypress Hill

Stoned Raiders, Columbia
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The Independent Culture

There comes a point at which even the most "crazy, gun-totin' niggas smokin' weed", as Cypress Hill describe themselves here, need to find ways to refresh both their outlook and their lyrics; and call me old-fashioned, but I reckon that in this respect they might be better off reading an occasional book than watching the WWF, several of whose wrestlers' catchphrases they borrow here. If that weren't enough indication of their creative stagnation, the tiresomely familiar Stoned Raiders is a dangerously backward-looking album, with "Here Is Something You Can't Understand" explicitly referring back to their earlier "How I Could Just Kill a Man", and tracks such as "Memories" and "Kronologik" casting fond glances at their past. The latter is basically a summary of the group's career, from the days when they played down the bill to Too Short, to their accession to superstar status, and on through to the worrying point when even their own record company "became elusive when it came to showing support". The implication is that they're back with a bang, but the results are just a bore, even when Redman and Method Man chip in on "Red Meth & Bee", which must have taken all of 10 minutes to write and record. There are a few attempts to develop further the rap/rock crossover sound of Skull & Bones, but, tellingly, the best track here is "Lowrider", whose languid strut and synth whine make for an enjoyable throwback to mid-Nineties G-funk.

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