Cypress Hill drummer: national pot legalization getting ever closer to reality

The legendary hip-hop group is coming to the Tabernacle May 10.
Sen Dog, from left, DJ Muggs, Eric "Bobo" Correa and B-Real, of hip-hop group Cypress Hill, atop their new Hollywood Walk of Fame star on April 18, 2019. CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP



Sen Dog, from left, DJ Muggs, Eric "Bobo" Correa and B-Real, of hip-hop group Cypress Hill, atop their new Hollywood Walk of Fame star on April 18, 2019. CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP

Cypress Hill broke the mold in the early 1990s with a unique blend of hip-hop, Latin and rock on top of its unabashedly open embrace of legalizing marijuana.

Three decades later, the core group Sen Dog, B-Real, DJ Muggs and drummer Eric “Bobo” Correa remain intact, still hitting the road as acceptance of pot both as a medicinal and recreational drug continues to grow. And they aren’t shy about bragging. The tour name is “We Legalized It.”

”We have a come a long way,” said Correa in a recent interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, promoting the May 10 show at the Tabernacle in Atlanta. (Tickets still available at $53 and $58.50.) “But I think that we’re still trying to keep our eye on the prize as far as going forward with awareness of cannabis.”

Pot is already legal and decriminalized in half the states and in various stages of legality in most other states. In Georgia, marijuana is still illegal for recreational use but is available in a limited way for medical use.

And last week, there was even more good news for pot advocates: the Biden administration is working to reclassify cannabis on a federal level so it is no longer in the strictest Schedule I category with heroin, methamphetamines and LSD. Instead, Biden officials plan to move it to Schedule III, along the lines of Tylenol with codeine, steroids and testosterone.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Correa said. “I think it should be de-scheduled completely. This keeps the government’s hands in regulating cannabis so they may not necessarily do what’s in the best interest of people who really need the plant.”

B-Real of Cypress Hill performs at the Lollapalooza music festival in Santiago, Chile, Saturday, April 2, 2011.

Credit: AP

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Credit: AP

Cypress Hill built their fan base through music festivals over the decades and in Atlanta, have appeared at both Sweetwater 420 and Shaky Knees.

“We do them all over the world,” Correa said. “Sometimes we get invited to play more alternative festivals where we’d be the only hip-hop band on the bill. Our music is able to transcend genres. We can play these festivals and still be accepted.”

It helps, he said, that they incorporate guitars and drums. “There’s a darkness in our sound that allowed us to be played on alternative stations as well as hip-hop stations,” he said. “It’s a blessing. Not everybody gets that shine.”

Correa spent several years with the Beastie Boys, then for three years juggled duties with both the Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill. In 1998, Cypress Hill was hitting the road and he committed to that.

“A week later, Ad Rock called and said they were about to head out for the ‘Hello Nasty’ tour,” he said. “I said, ‘Yo, I just committed to doing this tour with Cypress.’ At that point, they realized they needed a drummer specifically for them.”

California hip-hop group Cypress Hill in 2024 publicity photo. (Photo credit to Eitan Miskevich)

Credit: (Photo credit to Eitan Miskevich)

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Credit: (Photo credit to Eitan Miskevich)

He said if the timing had been reversed, he might not be with Cypress Hill now. But he’s grateful for the timing.

“We really just enjoy hanging out together,” he said. “We enjoy making music. We enjoy performing in front of our fans and gaining new fans.”

Correa is the progeny of famous Latin jazz drummer Willie Correa, who died when Correa was just 15 in 1983 in the early days of hip-hop.

“I think my dad would have been proud of my career,” Correa said. “He was very into the latest sounds. He heard Sugar Hill Gang and Grandmaster Flash. They all have percussion and live musicians. He really wanted to get his hands dirty working with younger musicians.”

The biggest song attached to Cypress Hill is 1993′s earworm “Insane in the Brain.” But they almost had party tune “Jump Around,” an even bigger hit a year earlier with House of Pain, a song that many mistake as a Cypress Hill song.

“It was originally intended to be a Cypress Hill song,” Correa said. “Muggs was the producer of the song but B-Real couldn’t come up with the lyrics. So it ended up with House of Pain.”

Naturally, Cypress Hill now covers “Jump Around” and the crowd is just fine with it.


Cypress Hill

8 p.m., Friday, May 10. $53-$58.50. The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. NW, Atlanta.