Cypress Hill's self-titled debut album in 1991, featuring songs like "How I Could Just Kill a Man," "Hand on the Pump" and "Pigs," introduced the rough-and-tumble L.A.-based hip-hop trio.
Thirty-plus years later, the making of that breakthrough record is the focus of Cypress Hill's first graphic novel, the 160-page Tres Equis.
It's quite a book (published by Z2 Comics and distributed by Simon & Schuster), with each of the six chapters created by different artists. The story is written by Noah Callahan-Bever and Gabriel Alvarez. The illustrators are Feliz Ruiz, Jefte Palo, Damion Scott, Paris Alleyne, Juan Gedeon, Alejandro Enrique Santana and Miquel Angel Hernandez.
"Tres Equis" is the ultimate holidays present for the Cypress Hill completist.
In Chapter 1 ("Pigs"), B-Real and Sen Dog get chased by police, led by an Officer O'Malley, who sees them smoking joints. They hop a fence and end up at a Beastie Boys show.
In Chapter 2 ("How I Could Just Kill a Man"), B-Real gets shot and spends time in the hospital.
In Chapter 3 ("Something for the Blunted"), DJ Muggs provides the beats for their first songs.
In Chpater 4 ("Hand on the Pump"), they get caught up in another shooting.
In Chapter 5 ("Latin Lingo"), B-Real develops his high-nasal vocal style as they look for a record deal and ultimately sign with Joe the Butcher's Ruffhouse label. The band performs in New York for the first time at the Apollo Theater.
In Chapter 6 ("Born to Get Busy"). Cypress write the theme song for the movie Juice and go to the premiere. Back home, they have one more encounter with Officer O'Malley.
The softcover version of Tres Equis with the cover illustration by Ramon Villalobos costs $24.99. The hardcover version is $39.99.
The deluxe edition hardcover with the cover illustration by Mister Cartoon also includes a slip case, three exclusive art prints and a green-vinyl reissue of the Cypress Hill album for $99.99. And there's an oversized super deluxe edition (only 500 were made) complete with action figures and a bucket hat, plus the album, prints and slip case, for $299,99. Order here.
Tres Equis is the ultimate holidays present for the Cypress Hill completist.