Live At The Fillmore

They, like, todally fucken' rock!

It’s part of the male disease, isn’t it? This anally retentive need to see pop in terms of studio albums and to see studio albums as earthy, self-contained and somehow [I]organic[/I] constructs. Hah! I mean, just think how much kudos you’d lose if you answered the tedious question, “What are your top five albums ever?” by including a couple of [I]live[/I] CDs? BLASPHEMY!

Which is a pity. Because while most live albums are tossed-off contractual obligation fulfillers (designed to cover up the fact that, after just a couple of years at the coal face, the average bunch of musicians are totally burnt-out, drug-addled lazy fuckers – no names, no pack drill, hem, hem) sometimes they, like, todally fucken’ rock! The frenzy of the crowd feeds back into the immediacy of the performance and – BOOM SHANKA! And there are moments of such delicious madness here.

“Do you like those greasy, slimy muthaf***as fucken’ with you all the time?” ask Cypress Hill at the end of ‘Pigs’. “NO! FUCK THE PIGS! FUCK THE PIGS! FUCK THE PIGS!” respond the kids with demented Yank gusto (doubtless while exposing their breasts, humping like wild dogs and dragging deeply on

13-skinner Camberwell Carrots). The mad tinkers. Or take the gibberingly frenzied ‘Cock The Hammer’. Or the thundering metal-behemoth-backed and audience-scream-slashed speed-freak babblethon that is ‘Checkmate’.

OK, so early tracks like ‘Hand On The Pump’ and ‘How I Could Just Kill A Man’ are workmanlike rather than exhilarating. But once the adrenaline starts slashing through the dope-fog like Freddy Krueger up against a deadline – woah! Hot momma! The joint, as it were, jumps. Like a mad March hare on a pogo stick and jumping drugs.

It ain’t [I]all[/I] jam. Bits of it positively plod. But given that 97.9 per cent of all live rap acts are as boring as seven shades of fucking fuck (come on, admit it), ‘Live At The Fillmore’, recorded in San Francisco, is something of an achievement. So let’s not pick nits. Let’s splash about a bit like dying mammoths in the deep tar pits of skunk-smashed metal rap at its baaaaaaddest. Let’s close our eyes and imagine that DJ Muggs, Sen Dog, B-Real and Bobo are chewing on Fred Durst’s meaty thigh bone on ‘I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That’. And then waving the whining prick’s head on a stick during ‘A To The K’.

And, for the “muthaf***en’ stoners” amongst you, there’s the deliciously endorphin-stimulating lazy skank of ‘Stoned Is The Way Of The Walk’ and ‘Hits From The Bong’. Ooh yeah. But then, just as you start nodding off, the Hill kick both buttocks clean off with a mental ‘Riot Starter’ and then stamp them into longpig arse steak tartare with ‘(Rock) Superstar’.

You muthaf***en’ crazy muthaf***en’ Cypress

Hill fan-muthaf***as are muthaf***en’ lucky,

‘cos you mutha***ers are in for a muthaf***en’ treat. Muthaf***as.

Steven Wells