Cypress Hill, "Rise Up"
Six years have passed since Cypress Hill's last album, "Till Death Do Us Part." But with its latest set, "Rise Up," the hip-hop group hasn't lost a beat--or its focus--with more "diehard dedication to a certain herb": marijuana. Atop bagpipes, the self-explanatory "Pass the Dutch" finds B-Real and Sen Dog rhyming about getting high and passing "the joint on the left-hand side." And they rap about "blazing" over horns and hand claps on "Light It Up." Meanwhile, with the assistance of guitar riffs and trumpets, "K.U.S.H." finds the West Coast rappers boasting about their diverse array of trees, noting, "I got every type of weed that you might desire/Go 'head, fire it up, maybe you can get inspired." Although a love for hydro is Cypress Hill's claim to fame, it's the more substantial tracks on "Rise Up" that smoke the competition, including the Marc Anthony and Pitbull-assisted "Armada Latina" and the reflective "Carry Me Away." --Mariel Concepcion