Cypress Hill

From High Fidelity/

Some rock & roll activists want to save the rain forest. West Coast rappers Cypress Hill would probably rather smoke it.

''Wanna see my new electric bong?'' asks the group's 23-year-old frontman, B-Real, caressing a battery-powered pot pipe as if it were the last of the Fabergé eggs. ''It's got a little engine inside with a filter. Push the button in the back and it shoots out smoke.'' He flicks his Bic and performs a demonstration. ''The guy who thought this up deserves a f---ing Nobel Prize.''

Medical studies suggest that prolonged marijuana use can result in short-term memory loss, lowered sperm count, and lack of motivation, among other damage. In the case of Cypress Hill — three glassy-eyed, pro-pot musicians from one of L.A.'s seedier 'hoods — its most observable result so far has been a smash hit record. The band's second album, Black Sunday (featuring such trippy tunes as ''I Wanna Get High,'' ''Hits From the Bong,'' and ''Legalize It''), caught the music world napping three weeks ago by selling a record 260,000 copies its first week, grabbing the top slot on the Billboard chart from U2's Zooropa, and becoming the first No. 1 record in history to celebrate pot toking explicitly.

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