Cypress Hill

Unreleased & Revamped

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On Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom, Cypress Hill sounded a little tired, clinging to their slow, druggy beat a bit too much. The Unreleased & Revamped EP was released a few months after the album, which signals that the EP is an attempt to salvage their reputation. That suspicion is confirmed by the list of remixers and collaborators. None of the guest musicians -- from the Fugees and A Tribe Called Quest to Redman, MC Eiht, and Erick Sermon -- are traditional West Coast rappers. They are musicians who are pushing the boundaries of hip-hop in 1996. In another attempt to restore their street credibility, Cypress Hill have distanced themselves from the alternative rock audience they cultivated through an appearance at Lollapalooza and with Temples of Boom. So, the group has clearly tried to make a break from its trademark sound, and its attempts are marginally successful. "Boom Biddy Bye Bye," which features a remix from the Fugees, is particularly successful, but most of the EP contains the germs of an idea, not the fruition of one. Still, the EP is encouraging to long-term fans who may have thought that Cypress Hill had lost the plot with Temples of Boom. Unreleased & Revamped suggests they are about to get back on track.

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