May was through, the summer was approaching, and 3 n' Pass was transitioning from a rap group into a live rap band. Shortly before we made the decision to change things up, we were producing new mixes for some of our old songs. Our self titled song needed new life, so I headed into my lab and did the old record pause trick to create some loops using the song "The Wizard" by Black Sabbath. It brought a whole new dimension and incredible energy to the song, plus we were sticking with a trend nobody else was really doing in rap with the exception of a few, sampling metal and rock songs.
Navy & Shelly, two of the top skate dogs on Team Scam in Brampton, had also started a rap project called "Team Scam" and they were doing some pretty cool stuff production wise. It was original and they definitely had their own vibe going on. We were happy to have them open for us, so we rocked a few shows together at Tremors in Brampton.
As far as I knew we were the only kids in town that had a rap band, so it was nice to see other people expressing theirselves through this wonderful art from. Paul from Demon Barf had told me about a friend who lived on his street named Kevin, and he had started a rap group as well called "Endangered Elements" It was really cool knowing that we weren't alone in our plight.
I had made plans to hook up with Pauly one day and hang out. I was at the Bramalea City Centre bumming about, so Paul came to meet me there when he got off work. While waiting for him I decided to peruse the record stores as I often did, and I was totally surprised to see Cypress Hill had a new album out called "Black Sunday" I immediately bought it and couldn't wait for Paul to show up so we could bump it in his car. Needless to say when he arrived he was pretty stoked with the surprise I had waiting for him.
We popped the cd in the stereo and the first song kicked in entitled "I wanna get high" I immediately recognized the chorus which was obviously inspired by Rita Marley's one hit wonder, but the music was really slow and blunted. I was used to Cypress being so hype and upbeat, but the lyrical content made up for the low beats per minute. When the second song "I ain't going out like that" started up, I thought "this is the Cypress I know" it was more upbeat and in your face. I was really digging the song a lot, and then it came to a break in the middle of the song. My jaw hit the floor when my ears heard the harmonica from Sabbath's "The Wizard" I couldn't believe it! I blurted out "Cypress ripped us off!!!" I was absolutely furious.
Within a weeks time I was shocked to learn that Cypress had used another sound in one of their new songs that Team Scam had already used in one of their tracks, and if that wasn't enough, Paul later heard from his buddy Kev that there was another sound in another Cypress song that Endangered Elements had previously used in one of their tunes. My mind was blown. It just seemed too coincidental that three bands from Brampton had been jacked by Cypress. There was clearly no way they had heard any of our music, but I was convinced there was some kind of conspiracy going on. We had all worked hard to bring original ideas to the stage, and now Cypress had just stripped that from us. People would naturally assume that we all ripped off Cypress Hill, not vice versa.
This hit me like a low blow, one that makes you reevaluate yourself and what you are doing. When your originality is stripped from you in one swoop what are you to do? The answer seemed simple enough, we had to come more original. So when the guys suggested transitioning into a live band I was totally on board, as nobody in rap was doing such.
It was time once again to bring something new to the game that had never been done before...