HHS: You’ve done so much work, from Cypress, to your solo projects, to other artists albums. What keeps you going year by year on a creative basis?
Muggs: I’m still inspired man. To be honest, I still love music and I’m still inspired…but now, where I’m at, I don’t like making beats. So for me to be inspired now, I need to sit down and work with an artist on a project, like this record with Ill Bill, like the record with GZA. I get inspired to do projects, not really to do beats anymore…it’s kinda boring. But to do an album, to see a project from beginning to end, I’m still into it man. I like painting pictures, I’m an artist, you know what I mean? I don’t think I’ve even reached my peak yet to what my full potential is, you know what I mean? I still think I’m a work in progress.
HHS: In terms of working with Bill, is that an idea you guys had – to actually do a full album? Or did you guys do a track, like “This Is Who I Am” off Bill’s Hour Of Reprisal album, and you were like, “we’ve got some chemistry, let’s keep this thing going”..?
Muggs: No, we definitely talked about doing a full album. Then, once we sat down and started working on it, we sat in the studio for like 10 days and it didn’t feel like 10 days. It didn’t even feel like we were working man. We came out of the studio after 10 days, with 12 songs, and just hung out and talked and had the basketball game on in the background…we smoked some weed and just chilled and the album was done man. That’s what it’s supposed to be man – an exchange of energy, an exchange of ideas, just sittin’ back and enjoying yourself man, you know? That’s exactly what the record was. When I gotta call the manager and book studio time and muthafuckaz don’t show up and it’s all this corporate shit…that ain’t what I got into this game for. I got in this shit to sit back and, you know, paint pictures I feel like painting.
HHS: I love hearing that passion and enthusiasm in your voice…
HHS: You really, truly, are an artist. Some people, it seems, go through the motions after a while, whereas you…you get in the studio with GZA, Sick Jacken, Planet Asia, and now Bill, and the natural outcome is something great…
Muggs: Well, I think a lot of people get in the business because they wanna be famous. I never got into it to be famous, I love the music. Making money and getting notoriety is a bi-product of just my passion for my art. The industry can burn you out. I never wanted to be part of the industry. I always been kind of a rebel even within the industry. I always came into shit aggressively, I never done what they wanted me to do. All my records that were even on the radio, if you listen to my records that were big hits, they’re not traditional radio records. I didn’t go out of my way to make radio hits. They’re the records I felt like making that were underground, fuckin’ dusty ass music that I like to make…and they happened to connect.
HHS: The first Cypress record is deemed a classic and rightfully so, but for me personally, Cypress HillTemples Of Boom is incredible. That album has a mood and an atmosphere to it that is unmatched. How do you feel looking back on that particular album?
Muggs: Well, what that was…Cypress got so big on Black Sunday and then all these expectations from the label and everybody…I was like, I wanna make the darkest record I can make. We wasn’t happy either. You get all this money and shit man…that didn’t make me happy. So I was like, I’m not even gonna make a single for this record, I’m just gonna make the darkest record I can make and that’s what it was man. We was goin’ through a lot of personal problems, breaking up with girlfriends and family problems and stuff…and that’s what came out man.
HHS: I spoke with Everlast when his last solo album came out and we got to talking about the first Funkdoobiest album, which you had done a lot of work on. He didn’t understand why it didn’t really blow up the way it potentially could have. Do you have that same thought looking back on it?
Muggs: I think it was probably the first single…it was just timing. Like, the first single was The Funkiest but they didn’t do a video to that until later, and they didn’t put the push behind it. They put the push behind “Bow Wow Wow”. I think the timing was off, you know? More than anything, more than anything, just the timing…timing’s important man.
HHS: Next year is going to be the 20th anniversary of the first Cypress record. Are there plans to re-release it or take it out on tour and perform it from beginning to end?
Muggs: Man, I haven’t toured with Cypress in about 4 years and I’m really not involved in it like that, so I really don’t know what’s going on. I’m not involved with the management, B-Real pretty much took over the reigns for the creative direction for the group…so I really couldn’t tell you what the plans are.
HHS: Is that why you’re not really featured on the latest Cypress record Rise Up?
Muggs: Right, he wanted a new sound and a new style and had his vision of the way he wanted to do the group. I was like, cool, you got my full support. Whatever you wanna do brother.
HHS: In closing, Kill Devil Hills hits stores on Tuesday, August 30. One track off the record that I’m really curious about is “Trouble Shooters” with Sean Price, OC and Sick Jacken. How ridiculous is that cut?
Muggs: The shit is hypnotizing man. It’s fucking ILL. It’s a knocker, one of my favorite beats. It bangs, just a real hypnotizing beat, real fuckin’ dirty hip hop. I come from this whole fuck the radio, fuck the video…you know…the people who inspired me were Public Enemy and N.W.A. Chuck D is one of the reasons I’m making music PERIOD. Yo! Bum Rush The Show and Nation Of Millions is like organized noise, you know what I mean?…organized chaos. Turn off that bullshit, turn off the radio, fuck MTV and I still make my shit like that man. That record really got that attitude, this whole record does.
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