‘We were blown away by it’ – Cypress Hill on making Simpsons episode come true

By Casey Cooper-Fiske, PA Entertainment Reporter

Hip hop legends Cypress Hill have said they will fulfil their “destiny” when they make a Simpsons joke about performing with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) come true.

B-Real, real name Louis Mario Freese, said he and his bandmates were “blown away” when they first saw themselves portrayed on the long-running US cartoon.

And he said they had been planning the performance, which will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday, ever since.

Cypress Hill formed in 1988, and shot to worldwide fame with 1993’s Black Sunday, which featured singles such as Insane In The Brain and I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That. They have since sold 20 million albums.

The band is made up of B-Real, Sen Dog and Eric Bobo.

Speaking of first seeing the Simpsons episode, Homerpalooza, the 54-year-old rapper told the PA news agency: “When we got invited we were excited, just because it was the Simpsons and we were all fans of it.

“When it came out, all our friends that were Simpsons fans were elated, because it’s not something we’d ever thought about.

“We weren’t thinking about being on TV or any of that, we were just being musicians and doing our shows, that was the expectancy of it, let’s go out and play our music and represent.

Cypress Hill performing at Glastonbury in 2000
Cypress Hill said they had been thinking of the idea since the Simpsons episode first aired (James Arnold/PA) Photo by James Arnold

“As our popularity is growing, we’d done Lollapalooza, and we’d done really well, so we started getting people’s attention, and then they invite us on the Simpsons.

“We were blown away by it, so when it comes out finally, it’s like when your album comes out.

“It was like, what’s it going to do? How are people going to react?

“We got a great reaction from it, and it was a hilarious episode.

“It just sort of lived on from there, throughout our career people have been like, ‘hey, did you really steal Peter Frampton’s symphony’.”

The former The Herd singer and guitarist is on the guestlist for the show, although the band are unsure if he will take up their offer.

But despite the jokes, B-Real said the idea was something that “always followed us”, and added the episode was “inspiration” for the band as far back as 1996, when it first come out.

He added: “After the episode came out, our producer DJ Muggs was like, ‘that might actually be a cool idea, we should probably do that’.

“He was talking about it with management and our agents for quite some time, then his schedule got demanding, and we all sort of forgot about it, and before you know it, Wu-Tang was doing a symphony show.

“And we thought, well f***, that’s our destiny, we should be doing this, because we’re with the Simpsons, and that’s where the idea spawned for a hip-hop group to do an orchestra or a symphony in the first place.”

The idea returned to the band when they put out a tweet to commemorate the moment in 2017, which was then quoted by the LSO, which said: “We mostly play classical, but we’ll give it a shot.”

The band have already played two US shows with the Colorado Symphony, which wrote the original orchestrations, which have now been adapted by the LSO, adding a “darkness”, according to B-Real.

He said: “Colorado Symphony wrote the first charts for us.

“What we did was we just gave them the music and said we don’t want you to play over our track, because a lot of the time that’s what a band will assume we want.

“In this case we said no, we’re going to do everything organic, we’re not going to play any of our track, we’re going to do it all from the instruments, no samples, no existing tracks.

“We said, we would like it if you recreated the track.

“When we heard them back we were like, oh my god this shit, this is happening, and it sounds amazing.

“We were hoping the LSO would be open to the idea that they looked at the charts that had already been written, and maybe they wanted to rearrange it, or change some bits, or add to it.

“Fortunately, they did, they actually made it much darker than the previous ones, which we loved.

“Colorado did an excellent job of translating the music, but we felt like it could be darker, and we knew the LSO could definitely do that, and fortunately they did an amazing job.”

During the concert, the band will play Black Sunday in full, as it was the album which was out at the time of the Simpsons episode, as well as other fan favourites.

B-Real added: “People that have come to our symphony shows, they were very surprised on some of the songs we played outside of Black Sunday.

“We can’t wait to see what the reaction is here.”

Cypress Hill will play the Royal Albert Hall with the LSO on Wednesday, July 10th. tickets are available from the venue’s website.