Cypress Hill is an American hip hop group from South Gate, California. Cypress Hill were the first Latino American hip hop recording artists to have platinum and multi-platinum albums, selling over 18 million albums worldwide. They are considered to be amongst the main progenitors of West Coast rap and Hip hop in the early 1990s, being critically acclaimed for their first three albums.The band has also been important for the advocacy of medical and recreational use of cannabis in the United States.
After recording a demo in 1989, Cypress Hill signed a record deal with the major label, Columbia Records. Their self-titled first album was released in August 1991. The lead single was the double A-side “The Phuncky Feel One”/”How I Could Just Kill a Man” which received heavy airplay on urban and college radio. The other two singles released from the album were “Hand on the Pump” and “Latin Lingo”, the latter of which combined English and Spanish lyrics. The success of these singles led to the album selling two million copies in the US alone. The group made their first appearance at Lollapalooza on the side stage in 1992.
Black Sunday, the group’s second album, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in 1993, recording the highest Soundscan for a rap group up until that time. Also, with their debut still in the charts, they became the first rap group to have 2 albums in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 at the same time. With “Insane in the Brain” becoming a crossover hit, the album went triple platinum in the U.S. and sold about 3.25 million copies.
The band headlined the Soul Assassins tour with House of Pain and Funkdoobiest as support, then performed on a college tour with Rage Against the Machine and Seven Year Bitch. In 1993, Cypress Hill also had two tracks on the Judgment Night soundtrack, teaming up with Pearl Jam on the track “Real Thing” and Sonic Youth on “I Love You Mary Jane”.