Cypress Hill SmokeOut Festival 2012 Recap

By | March 20, 2012 at 7:16 am | No comments | Featured Post, Interviews, Recaps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kush a bit, little bit, roll it up, take a hit… you know. Roll that shit, light that shit, smoke it, but don’t forget to pass the dutchie on the left hand side. Somebody’s got to get smoked out. This is Cypress Hill’s smoke out 2012 style and amongst all of the mohawks, loc’d out sunglasses, shotgun shell plug casings, tattoos and kush clouds in my congregation. There were fly girls in orange zig zag chucks, emcees rocking shell toes with wings, punk rockers, dub steppers and of course, more weed smoke. Even with one time on horseback escorting glaciers of ice and bottled water through the crowd with flashlights and golf carts, the open aired venue was damn near hot boxed.

There were a whole lot of people in the house rocking with all of the artists on Smoke Out’s three different stages. Sometimes you could barely walk through the crowd, at other points in time you could swim through it. Everyone came together all day and into the night without anybody getting hurt. There were rumors about an overdose, but I didn’t see anything like that first hand.

There were light shows, dreadlocks and drum sets, graffiti and high voltage. People were burning strands of sour diesel, blue dream and purple haze. There was blunt fire, bong water and even sneak-a-tokes. And of course, there was an entire day’s worth of music. Did I mention the music yet? Can’t forget the music, cuz while some people came to get their medicinal licenses and meditate in the stone garden, I came to freak the funk and get my get highs from the megadef sound system while obtaining some exclusive interviews for ILLSOCIETY Magazine.

You can’t have Cypress Hill’s Smoke Out without Cypress Hill, and the Los Angeles OG’s are humble enough to share their stages with talented musicians from multiple genres. Sublime performed with Rome, Korn took the freak off the leash, Rusko got down with Travis Barker and Cypress Hill, Thievery Corporation was a breath of fresh air, and the many emcees on the bill represented for the true school elements of hip hop.

We pulled into the parking lot while Mobb Deep was performing. I could hear the bass from “Quiet Storm” echoing throughout San Bernadino while we waited in line for our press passes. Havoc and Prodigy were finishing up their verses to “Shook Ones pt. 2”, as we walked into the press and media area and were lucky enough to run into Psycho Realm’s Sick Jacken. The question on my mind for everyone all day was if they were getting smoked out at Smoke Out and I jumped at the occasion to get the man behind the mask and the assassin to shed some light on to what he’s been up to lately…

We’re here with Sick Jacken. We wanna see if y’all are smoked out at smoke out, or how do y’all do the festivities here with Cypress Hill?

You know I traditionally smuggle in a big bottle of Jack Daniels, and I just do it big all day.

old no. 7

old no. 7

That’s classic.


What about for all of the psychos out there, you got anything they can check out coming from y’all soon?

Yeah, we got TERROR TAPES 2 coming in May,


May 15th it’s looking like TERROR TAPES 2 is coming out on Rebel Music Group/SMC Universal. The fucking record’s crazy man. We got Sean Price on it, Joell Ortiz, Murs on it, all of the homies from Outerspace, El Sicario from Spain, and Chace Infinite from Self Scientific. The records produced entirely by Cynic and myself and the record’s fucking crazy bro.

Can’t wait for that.

Thank you.

Given the nature of the world today, there’s a lot of wars going on, they tightened up restrictions on the internet, is there anything you wanna let the people know out there who are fighting for their freedoms in the cities and they’re struggling?

The fight for freedom has existed since the beginning of time, so… you know, just don’t give up anytime soon. Just expect to fight for the rest of your life for your freedom. You know?

Another day in the struggle.

That’s it.
– – –

I dapped up the OG and we took a couple of flicks and kept it pushing. Things were just picking up. We had missed Mobb Deep, but there was a whole day of music to look forward to. I had an interview with Fashawn scheduled for later, Schoolboy Q was gonna take his hands off the wheel, Nocando was gonna rip on the Low End Theory stage, and DJ Muggs was gonna be on the wheels of steel. There were three different stages, and I wanted to know where everything was so not to miss anything. The main stage was in plain sight and huge outside. The massive stone garden was tucked away in a warehouse at the southern end by the VIP area that housed a giant inflatable golden buddah statue. The Low End Theory stage was a little harder to find. It was nestled just north of the pond and in a warehouse to the side of the main stage. As we wandered into the Low End, the stage was still being constructed. I noticed a permed out cat in some Jeremy Scott Adidas kicks and realized it was Danny Brown.

We’re here with Danny Brown, and first question man, are you getting smoked out at Smoke Out?

I just got here and I haven’t found any smoke yet, so when I do, I will.

I got you covered, low key.

Oh shit man… wassup man? Where’s it at?

You know what I’m saying? We can do this right after the interview

Oh fa’sho!

In the meanwhile… can you let the people know who Danny Brown is who aren’t sure who you are yet? Just familiarize them…

I’m Danny Brown. I’m a rapper from Detroit. Signed to Fool’s Gold Records. I released an album in August and it won best rap album of the year in Spin Magazine. I was just on the Freshman 12 cover. I just was on the cover of the Fader. I will be on the cover of Wax Poetics next month.

Word. So your style is just real unorthodox… how did that develop? What inspired you

Umm… I mean I’m kinda older than everybody else. I’m 30 years old… I’ll be 31. And I think just growing up in the 80’s, I was always influenced by Prince and Rick James and guys like that. And then, being into hip hop, you know after awhile, just be Hip Hop and then it just got to the point where I wanted to be myself.

I dig that man. That explains Danny Brown, a lot of emcees are going by their real names now-a-days.

It’s just like when gangsta rap was popping, I was a gangsta rapper. And that would be what it is.

What’s post-Dilla Detroit like?

I say, in some sense with me, I can’t speak for everyone, but me personally, I’m just trying to really take his inspiration and move with that instead of taking his musical style.

Yeah, cuz there are a lot of Dilla biters I feel…


I don’t think nobody could say that about you and your style. It’s way different but it’s still Detroit.


It’s still grimey. Nah’mean… last couple of questions. What was it like recording with Black Milk?

Really that project happened pretty fast cuz I used to record at his studio all of the time. So I had a lot of music there that I never released. So we pretty much went back for a few weekends and just tinkered with that stuff. That’s what that was.

Got anything new that people should check for?

Right now I’m just doing a lot of touring, so I haven’t really had a lot of chances to record.

That’s where the money’s at though…

Yeah… but hopefully when I finish this next tour in July, I’ll be back recording.

What’s the craziest moment you’ve had on tour?

I wouldn’t say nothing too crazy, like I said, I’m kinda older so I’ve done everything before man

You plead the 5th?

I’m not pleading the 5th to be honest… Actually with me, I just wanna stay healthy on tour, not get sick, you know what I’m saying? And just be able to get my money everyday instead of you trying to party every night, waking up with hangovers, you know?

You can’t be traveling like that, you gotta be professional sometimes.

That’s right… I still pop pills and shit. (Laughs)
– – –

After the interview I laced him with a connect to smoke blunt after blunt after blunt.

Finally it was time for some music. Curren$y was rocking in the Stone Garden. I went to check him out. He was maxing out in a couch on stage while the crowd chanted the lyrics along to his songs. The room was full of krypto-chrondalite and after Curren$y rocked the mic, he jumped into the crowd and got swarmed by his fans. I was able to steal a moment of his time and ask him a couple of questions.

Curren$y, I’m here with ILLSOCIETY Magazine, can I get a couple of comments? Are you getting smoked out at Smoke Out?

We’re smoked out at Smoke Out.

What kinda trees y’all burning?

I’m on Veta OG right now and Walter OG. I gotta little Larry too, a little Larry OG. I got various types of trees.

Y’all got any projects coming out you could let the people know about?

The Stoned Immaculate. The Stoned Immaculate. It’s the most important thing going on in my life right now. The Stoned Immaculate.
– – –

The Stoned Immaculate, that would be a good idea. I hadn’t smoked since before the ride to San Bernadino, but there wasn’t time to roll up yet. Fashawn was about to christen the Low End stage. We walked into the arena as the young lord from Fresno was sipping champagne out of a pair of styrofoam cups while showing off his origami skills. He rocked a grizzly city performance and set the tone for the Low End stage for the rest of the day. I’d catch up with him after seeing Wiz Khalifa roll up and ScHoolboy Q extend his blessings.

Now we’re here with Fashawn, and for the people who don’t know who you are… can you fill them in?

I am an African-American, trying to survive in America.

And how’s that struggle going man?

It’s really hard man, it’s really like… you know what I’m saying? I’m kidding. It’s great.

Yeah… I bet.

You see the champagne in the styrofoam cup? It’s cool. (Laughter)

No jolly ranchers.

No jolly ranchers in here. No purple shit man, I don’t do codeine as much.


I said as much, you noticed that right? I don’t do codeine as much, but the Chandon…


you know… not as much.

You getting smoked out at Smoke Out?

Oh yeah, we’re definitely smoking man. I done filled up my whole lung capacity if you ask me.

How do you think the police react to such open marijuana usage?

I went to go march with my people the other day in Los Angeles. It was me, Tommy Chong, B-Real, Kottonmouth Kings. You know… and they were really cool about it. No one got hurt… there was no violence. It was a peaceful demonstration. But more has to be done. Know what I’m saying? We need to legalize this shit. We need to reclassify it as medicine because that’s what it is for the majority of these people out here, patients out here legally using.
– – –

You can check out the rest of the interview with Fashawn in our feature on Fresno’s finest.

The best part of Smoke Out was the mixing of up and coming talent with well respected OG’s and legends. Cypress Hill went through classic after classic on stage, Thievery Corporation was soulful and melodic, and the Low End Theory stage was full of experimentation and that next trill-wave of freshness. i caught up with a couple of key players and talented gentlemen who both dropped heavy D with the technotronics

We’re here with Gaslamp Killer… we got two questions for you man, are you getting smoked out at Smoke Out?We’re here with Gaslamp Killer… we got two questions for you man, are you getting smoked out at Smoke Out?


Word. Y’all feel all of the energy coming in the building for Low End? Like, do y’all got some new science to drop on heads tonight?

We always dropping the new shit. But I think tonight is a different crowd than what we’re used to so we’re hoping that the kids will like what we’re doing.

There’s a lot of energy pulling your way, you gotta lot of legendary people that you’re playing with, you know what I’m saying?

We got a lot of energy to give, so hopefully it’ll get popping.
– – –

Gaslamp Killer is a main stay of the Low End Movement, and the banging ass sub sonics that he paints with are still being taken to new heights. Even as huge as I know the Low End Theory movement is, I still get surprised when I run into people who have never heard of it before and have yet to check out one of their remarkable Wednesday nights at the Airliner. It definitely looked like the Low End gained a couple of new students from the Smoke Out. One of the originators that shared the stage with the reigning kings of dub and Los Angeles beat culture was Daedalus. He has been putting in work since the beginning of the new millennium and has constantly remained innovative. I caught up with him in the crowd after his performance…

Much respect, first off you know what I’m saying? You was tearing it up in there.

Trying, thank you. I appreciate you being there.

Yeah… are you getting smoked out at Smoke Out?

You know what… Yes.

Word. That’s what Gaslamp Killer said. So you’re in good company.

Rare occasions, only when the circle is like really right. There’s no other place with this many people in a single space getting blazed. So it’s easy, but anyways…

I feel you’re kinda like one of the godfathers of beat culture in Los Angeles. I know you’ve been doing your thing for a minute before it blew up and got popular with the hipsters and everything. You’ve been keeping it authentic and underground doing your thing, experimenting with noise for a minute… how do you feel looking back as the culture’s evolved since you first started?

It’s beautiful, there are so many voices that are relevant. There are so many people that have matured into like international sensations right, I’m just a witness to this kinda amazing things, to people like Daddy Kev, who is really a godfather of the beat, people like which has been reppin’ the culture for a long time, but we’re all just vehicles for this next generation, and the generation under them. Because all of the ideas that we have are so influenced by the people who came before. That these kids that are more influenced from kinda where we’re coming from are gonna do things that we could never expect, and the people that come under them… it’s just basically a joy. I’m just a witness to a lot of greatness.
– – –

There’s so much going on at Smoke Out, you just gotta be there to absorb it all. it’s a sensory overload. If you aren’t paying attention closely, you just might miss the crown jewels. Big ups to Guerilla Union for putting everything together word life sun… There wasn’t much left to do except spark another owl on the way home, vibe out to the car stereo and look forward to some new unexpected next shit. This has been an “ILLSOCIETY Production”, word to Hunter S. Thompson, kush fire and the music that inspires us all.

-Drop Jewelz

All photos shot by Mackenzie Lenora

© 2011 ILLSOCIETY Media Group LLC. All rights reserved.