Friday, 25 September 2009

62: Cypress Hill - (Rock) Superstar

Cypress Hill's only Top 20 UK single of the decade came just four months after the turn of the Millennium, so it would be no surprise if it had passed you by. If it had, that's a shame - it's their highest charting UK single of all time, and it's a cracking tune.

Musing on that old rapper's favourite subject - the trappings of the celebrity lifestyle - '(Rock) Superstar' sees B-Real, DJ Muggs and Sen Dog issuing a warning to kids that fame may not be all it's cracked up to be, despite the fast cars, women and vast amounts of cash. Indeed, hard work seems to be the theme of the song. "It's a fun job, but it's still a job" says Sen Dog, "the price of fame is high and some can't pay the way" says B-Real.

So, by Cypress Hill's standards, it clearly doesn't cover new territory lyrically, but the music marks a definite step change. In something of a gamble, Cypress Hill released a two-disc album in 2000, 'Skull & Bones'. The first disc, 'Skull' was traditional Cypress Hill rap, whilst 'Bones' was their first real foray into rock. The rock CD was short, at just 6 tracks, and '(Rock) Superstar' was actually just a re-working of '(Rap) Superstar' from the 'Skull' disc.

I found the rock version of the song to be much the stronger version, with that memorable piano intro giving way to Rage Against The Machine-style guitars. But here are both videos, you can decide for yourself.

(Embedding helpfully disabled by those nice folks at SonyBMG)
(Rock) Superstar video
(Rap) Superstar video

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