El Paso Music Scene

B Real Interview

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After being at the Copal Fest for over seven hours, watching groups perform inside and outside of Hiney's, I finally was ushered backstage by David (Ramirez of Hiney's) to hang out with B Real of Cyprus Hill. I had already let B Real know about the interview so he was expecting me when I found my way through the billowing white tarp backdrop of the stage. I introduced myself and got into the interview with the most surrealistic, B Real.

EPMS: How long have you been in music, B?

B Real: A long time now, about sixteen or seventeen years. Around seventeen, yea.

EPMS: Why the name, "B Real"?

B Real: My friends gave me that name way back.

EPMS: Fans of hip-hop and rap consider you a legend. Do you feel like a legend?

B Real: Not really, I don't know. I mean, I just do what I do, I make my music. If the people think of me as a legend, then that's how they feel. I do appreciate what people say though.

EPMS: One of your hottest hits was "Insane in the Membrane." What inspired that song?

B Real: We had beef with some other rappers at the time and that song was really a subliminal diss. But it became such a huge party song and no one caught on to it being a diss.

EPMS: Was it cool being portrayed on "The Simpson's"?

B Real: Yea, it was great. Who wouldn't want to be on The Simpson's? Everyone sees the show and it's gonna be in re-runs so I'm always gonna be on The Simpson's.

EPMS: Why the Copal Fest?

B Real: Tony touch asked me to come down with him and perform a couple of songs. We did that song, "Play That Song" with Nina Sky.

EPMS: You hosted a big show in Cali, with Nas and RZA and others performing. Is that similar to Copal Fest?

B Real: No, its definitely different. Copal Fest has the mixture of sounds, the one in Cali was basically rap.

EPMS: You've obviously been doing this [music] a for a long time, what keeps you going?

B Real: The love for it. I love what I do. If I didn't love it, I'd be doing something else.

EPMS: What do you think of El Paso?

B Real: Its a cool place. I've been here before, and the people really get up the shows I come for.

EPMS: Do you think you'd come back to El Paso to just chill?

B Real: Its a long way away, maybe on a day off on my tour I will.

EPMS: What do you do when you aren't touring?

B Real: I work on the music and go paint balling.

EPMS: What is the best food to eat when you are on tour?

B Real: It depends, cause you can't get good Mexican food on the east coast. You can but its not real Mexican food. Not like you get on the west coast or here. But Italian is always good.

EPMS: What was the last movie you saw in a theater?

B Real: (looks up thoughtful for a moment) Oh man, that's a hard question.

EPMS: Been that long?

B Real: Not that long, but I think it was Star Wars: Return of the Sith.

EPMS: Are you a family guy or a card carrying member of the Player's Club?

B Real: Well, I'm not married, and I'm not a card carrying member of any club except the B Real club. My club. Hahaha.

EPMS: How hard is it to keep a low profile?

B Real: It depends ya' know? Who you are with, where you are at what you are doing. If I'm walking down the street with Eminem, that's not keeping a low profile. But if I'm just hanging out with my friends chillin, that's a low profile.

EPMS: In your opinion, what is the hardest thing about music?

B Real: Selling it, getting it out there. If you have a good album but the label doesn't do anything to help get it out its not going to go anywhere. Marketing is the key.

EPMS: A lot of kids coming into the industry think, to get big, all you have to do is take a beat, screw and chop it, write a few lines of rhymes and its instant fame. What does it REALLY take?

B Real: Write good music, be responsible, give good shows, do interviews. BE RESPONSIBLE, perform at shows you are supposed to, be good to those who like you. Be responsible.

EPMS: What's your advice to all the aspiring artists trying to find their niche in the music world?

B Real: Keep looking for it and don't give up. You WILL find it if you want it bad enough. Be yourself and go for it.

EPMS: If you could go back in time what would you do different if anything?

B Real: I would have gotten my label sooner.

EPMS: How did you all (Cyprus Hill) get signed?

B Real: This guy in the 783 Group knew a guy who had a record label. He got him to listen to us and he liked what he heard and we got signed.

EPMS: Is there still a Cyprus Hill?

B Real: Yeah.

EPMS: What does it take to get a compilation with B Real?

B Real: I really don't do them much.

EPMS: Do you freestyle?

B Real: Yea, every show I do, I try to do a bit of freestyling for the crowd at the end.

EPMS: In your opinion, who is/was the best rapper of all time?

B Real: THAT is a hard question. Its hard to say, and it depends on the preferences. My top three are KRS-1, Jay Z, and Eminem.

EPMS: People think that hiphop is fading because of the animosity between artists. What is your take on that?

B Real: It happens every few years. A feud breaks out between this artist and that. It's going to happen but it's not going to ruin the music.

EPMS: What do you love most about performing and the music?

B Real: Making people feel something with the music. Having that emotional connection. The emotions from it.

EPMS: Sum up your whole music career in one word.

B Real: That's easy, CRAZY!

EPMS: Any last words?

B Real: It's all good.

EPMS: Well, thank you for coming back to El Paso and putting on this show for everyone.

B Real: Thanks for having me here!

- Malice

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