After their self-titled debut, Cypress Hill needed an album that would secure their place in hip-hop history. An album that needed everything. traditional Cypress funk, a darker side and a handful of quality singles. This album in no doubt succeeded in doing so, putting Latino rap on the map for the years to come.
'Black Sunday' is in every way trying to get the pro-marijuana argument across to the public, but that in no way makes the lyrics subject to cannabis related filler, but just adds a mellow calmness to the album. Ideal stoner rap really. The introductory 'I wanna get high' shows this, with B-real floating on thin air moaning 'I want to get hiiiiigh, so hiiiiigh.......'.
The first half of the album is very kind to the ear, with simple beats and the usual eerie samples thrown in for that extra bounce. 'I ain't goin out like that' offers an simple yet fitting bassline which leads the song in a dark and pessimistic way. Although the album falls down a large transition quickly to the widely acclaimed single 'Insane in the Brain'. I think most people will be familiar with the opening lyric 'Don't you know i'm loco"'. The funkier tracks shows of the DJ's talent, making the catchyiest tunes out of the most simple melodies. B-real does a great job sporting his whiney nasally style over tracks such as 'Insane in the Brain' and the upbeat 'When the *** goes down' to add originality and a style to be matched by most modern rap artists.
Once again the album takes another huge step to fast paced minor sounding beats, very similar to the first two tracks. though the sound doesn't vary to a great extent, the lyrics to 'Lick a Shot' prove fantastically dark and humerous; "Had a bad dream woke up in a casket, now I can't even get back at the bastard". This is also the first song with a noticable cut-in B-section, which is unusual as 'Cypress Hill' are known to keep their beats constant and unchanging. Other dark tracks such as 'Cock the Hammer' offer a nice neutral listen, with brilliant references to the human rectum, "How does it feel though when my boots stuck in your ass like a dildo"". Once again though, the same repetetive bassline is used throughout the track, and does get old after repeat listening.
The second half of the album starts with two instrumentals, which aren't tremondously impressive, but probably aimed more at the intoxicated. 'Lock down' uses funk bar chords, simple drumming and a fairly catchy bass to create quite a dull filler track of just over a minute long. The same goes for 'Legalize it', another repetetive riff with short samples, ending up with and moderate paced instrumental of under a minute long.
The highlights of the second half of the album are 'Hits from the Bong' and ' Break 'em off Some'. Both tracks are very therapeutic, with lovely sounding slow melodies and stoning related lyrics, yet B-reals voice is almost hypnotic; " Hits from the booooong.....".
The second half does indeed let the album down, with quite a few dull filler tracks thrown in, 'A to the K' and 'hand on the glock to name' a few. Overall, great stoner Rap for the best Latin rap group to ever hit the scene. however, there is much to enjoy for every rap fan, ranging from funk rap, to heavy dark beats and outrageous lyrics.
Song ratings and tracklisting
1) I wanna get high 3/5
2) I ain't goin' out like that 3.5/5
3) Insane in the Brain 5/5
4) When the *** goes down 5/5
5) Lick a shot 4.5/5
6) Cock the Hammer 4/5
7) Lock down 2.5/5
8) 3 lil' Putos 2.5/5
9) Legalize it 2.5/5
10) Hits from the Bong 4.5/5
11) What goes around comes around, kid 3/5
12) A to the K 3/5
13) Hand on the glock 2/5
14) break 'em off some 5/5