Rude and crude like a pit bull, get to the point
Your fuckin’ card will get pulled, now
I’m headed up the river with a boat and no paddle
And I’m handin’ out beatdowns
I’m headed up the river with a boat and no paddle
And I’m handin’ out beatdowns
Put me in chains, try to beat my brains
I can get out, but the grudge remains
When I see ya punk ass, I’m gonna getcha
Get some through ya, shotgun go boo-yaa!

Hand on the Pump – Cypress Hill


It had been two years since my first experience attending Cypress Hill’s Haunted Hill at Fillmore, Silver Spring.  This time around, I had plenty of lead-time, so I wanted to show up with new artworks.  Although the show was on a Wednesday night, the day after Halloween, I was looking forward to seeing their live performance.

After work, I drove to Silver Spring, with plans to grab some dinner before going into the venue.  Instead, I made a loop around the back of the Fillmore, and spotted fellow Hip-Hop artist Kevin Carmody, with art in hand.  We ended up hanging outside, and catching up about past shows.  He had his MCA piece and a large group composition, featuring each member of the group.

In my portfolio I had a few pieces: the B-Real I made for the Prophets of Rage Hail to the Chief video (see my Mission: Prophets of Rage post), a new small colored-pencil B-Real portrait on wood, and a new corrugated cardboard portrait of SenDog –


After a while, it started to drizzle. We wondered if we wouldn’t be better off finding another place to wait.  Ultimately, we decided to stay.  Our patience paid off, when the road manager emerged from the backdoor, and seemingly summoned an SUV out of the darkness of the street.

The car swung around, and backed up a few feet; leaving the shortest possible distance between the back door of the club, and the vehicle.  We casually walked up, simultaneously pulling out our artwork.  The entire group spilled out of the car, and seemed in no rush to leave us behind.  Once they each spied the artwork, we made easy conversation as they took turns tagging the portraits.  As it had started to rain, B-Real mentioned that we should make an attempt keep the work dry, and invited us under the open back hatch of the SUV.  That was a good indication that we could take our time.

In my brief exchange with SenDog, he said “Beautiful, man. You got the patches in there, too.” I said, “It’s not quite done, but I have plans to finish it up”.  He replied, “Make sure you let me know when you do. I’d like to hang that one up!”.  Nice.  That’s always the ultimate compliment and sign of approval; when they want it for themselves.  I told him I’d let him know when it was done, and we posed for a quick picture.


Kevin was busy getting each group member to sign his piece, when I sidled up to B-Real. I showed him the small wooden composition, and he reacted with enthusiasm.  “Woah, that’s fresh. That’s fresh!”  He happily tagged the little drawing, and the whole group moved inside the building.  Just like that, it was mission: accomplished.



Most of the time, I bring my portfolio and a backpack inside with me. This time around, I jogged back to my car, and put everything away.  It was great to enjoy the show with empty hands, and a closer view.

As we entered the floor area, Rahzel and DJ JS-1, welcomed the crowd with a great intro set.  JS-1 cut up some great Hip-Hop classics, while Rahzel would mimic the beats and the choruses with his incredible, one-of-a-kind beatboxing. I was blown away by their performance of Sucker MCs, a Bob Marley tribute, and Black Sabbath’s Iron Man. Their collab was an added bonus that could easily be a headlining act. I felt fortunate that this was a part of the show and I was definitely left wanting more.  If you get the chance, check this duo out.

Around 10 o’clock, Cypress Hill to took the stage.  The crowd was amped, and packed in tight against the barricade. I took a few steps back, and realized that I’d be watching the show next to Rahzel.  He had ventured out to the floor, and was bouncing along with the music amidst the energetic audience.  CH ran through Hand On the Pump,  Just Kill a Man, Ain’t Goin Out Like That, and Insane in the Brain.  While the smoke density increased, and the hour got late, it was apparent that Cypress Hill has some amazing fans. It’s always a lively, enthusiastic crowd, and I love seeing this group perform.  They never disappoint, and that night was no exception.  Just great.  I’ll always return when they come through the DMV.  I’m already looking forward to next year. Thanks, guys! – AK