November 19, 2014 Cypress Hill bring mischief to Best Buy Theater NYC 10-30-14
In recent years Hip Hop powerhouse Cypress Hill has made a habit of recognizing Halloween annually with a special show in New York City. Returning to Best Buy Theater in the center of all the action of Manhattan on Thursday October 30th, the Latino foursome of B-Real, Sen Dog, DJ Muggs,and Eric Bobo came to put on the highly anticipated Haunted Hill 2014 show. Bringing along with them Redman and Method Man in 2013, this years supporting cast included Vinnie Paz, Immortal Technique, and La Coka Nostra. As darkness began rolling in, outside the doors of the theater, a sold out crowd packed inside awaiting to celebrate Devil’s Night in grand fashion.
Up first to the microphone was Philadelphia , PA’s Vinnie Paz. Known as a lyricist behind highly touted underground rap duo Jedi Mind Tricks, Paz released his solo debut Season of the Assassin in 2010. While keeping Jedi Mind Trick going, Paz also has been busy with his solo career as well as part of supergroup Army of the Pharaohs. Now gearing up for the release of his third album, The Cornerstone of the Corner Store, he was ready to take center stage at Best Buy Theater. Performing songs like “Ends of Days” and Jeidi Mind Tricks’ “Heavenly Divine” among others, Paz was pumping out lyrics at a rapid flow that had everyone moving. His immense energy and intensity as he delivered heartfelt words really struck the audience and had the mood set for the rest of the evening.
Next up from the Northern Manhattan neighborhood of Harlem was Immortal Technique. Active now for almost fifteen years, Immortal Technique is a rapper with a message and clear approach on delivering it. Gaining commercial success with his 2008 album The 3rd World, he is now set to take matters to the next level with forthcoming album The Middle Passage. Amping up the audience from the start, Immortal Technique encouraged the audience to join in the revolution. Performing songs like “Point of No Return,” “Toast of the Dead,” and “Peruvian Cocaine” with Poison Pen, he demanded the audiences attention. Throwing off intense vibes, Immortal Technique’s lyrical focus on war, politics, and society in general was captivating as well as educational for all feasting their eyes on the set.
Keeping the emotions high, all-star group La Coka Nostra was next to the stage. Made up of House of Pain’s DJ Lethal and Danny Boy along with Ill Bill as well as Slaine, La Coka Nostra initially began as a fun project, but soon began a full-time gig receiving overwhelming positive feedback. Releasing two studio albums thus far, including 2012’s Masters of the Dark Arts, the guys are ready to unleash a third record in the near future. No stranger to NYC, each member came out on stage explosively delivering songs like ” I’m An American,” “That’s Coke,” “It’s a Beautiful Thing,” and “Mind Your Business.” As veterans with superior skills, they moved about with grace and a surprise amid the set transpired when NYC based group Non Phixion reunited on stage. Provoking an massively loud reaction, fans were up on their feet for the special moment. La Coka Nostra continued with a mix of other tunes and proved to be a worthy direct supporting act.
As the hands on the clock ticked by, the time finally arrived for Cypress Hill to take over this sold out room. Sustaining themselves twenty plus years now, Cypress Hill’s multi-platinum career has been an impressive one. Recenting celeberating the 23rd anniversary of their self-titled debut album, they are considered one of leaders of West Coast Hip Hop in in the 1990’s. Expanding their horizons with each passing release, they have even dabbled in Metal, making them accessible to a broad audience who respect and appreciate what they offer. Despite the lengthy gaps between studio albums in the 2000’s, due to other projects, fans patiently await a new batch of material from Cypress Hill hopefully to come in 2015. Staring at a backdrop of devilish creatures hanging from the rafters and tombstones placed around DJ Muggs’ set-up, everyone knew they were in for an early Halloween treat.
On a smoke filled stage, washed out by eerie green light, each member came out lifting things off with “I Aint Goin’ Out Like That.” As B-Real busted through the words in his own unique way, a roar came as soon as Sen Dog came into view and the set moved on like a steamroller with “Hand on The Pump,” “When the Shit Goes Down,” and “How I Could Just Kill a Man.” Speaking between songs, B-Real connected with the fired up audience appearing ready to go all night long with Cypress Hill. Proceeding to split the theater into a left and right side, enticing each side to be louder, the noise level was immense as they went into massive hit “Insane in the Brain.” Marching on, following a electrifying mix of Eric Bobo’s percussion and DJ Muggs’ scratching, the songs “Tequila Sunrise,” “Boom Biddy Bye Bye,” as well as “Lick a Shot” came shortly after.
Relentlessly keeping the momentum going, Cypress Hill had this audience at the height of exhaustion from start to finish and they wrapped up the set with “A to the K,” “Illusions,” and heavier “(Rock) Superstar.” For what has become a Halloween tradition for Cypress Hill and their fans, there was no let down whatsoever during Haunted Hill 2014. Wrapping up the year with some shows in Australia, followers now wait for more details of their spring 2015 new album.