The year was 1994, and oh what an awkward and transformable year it was. Allow me to paint a 20-year-old picture using swift, roomy strokes if I may. In those days, I occupied the basement of my parents’ suburban homestead. I shared my first quasi-studio apartment with a blow-up mattress for a bed, ripped out Snowboard Magazine pages taped to plastic sheets covering the rows and rows of canary yellow insulation, a loud and obnoxious hot water heater that would wake me up in the middle of the night in a dead panic, and of course, my adorable mother popping down every half hour to painstakingly adhere to the family laundry. My “bedroom” throughout the duration of my high school days was a labyrinth of new and exciting music, and at the time, few syncopated sounds were more otherworldly (for a suburban white kid living in the rural Midwest) than Los Angeles’ own, Cypress Hill.
As a gullible and easily impressionable youth, anything that wasn’t early 90s country radio (or the overly played and equally obnoxious doobs of the grunge scene) grabbed my conformed and sheltered ear. Jane’s Addiction, Onyx, Beastie Boys, Operation Ivy, Ministry, Vacuum Scam, and The Pharcyde all became rhythmically projected voices, representing the outside world; a world I knew nothing about, but that which promised gilded and painful excitement.
Cypress Hill’s first two albums are critically flawless. Fans of Tim McGraw and those still clinging to Pearl Jam may have a different (and mortally incorrect) opinion. On the We Ain’ Goin’ Out Like That single, which is really more of an EP, there featured a song that was released exclusively to this release. This song, the opus of my youth, and a song my friends and I still quote on a weekly bases, is Scooby Doo. No mysteries are solved during the three minutes and 39 seconds of this epic story, and nobody utters the icon phrase “jinkies” (at least in English). Instead, Scooby Doo is a bass-heavy, skull-vibrating anthem covering themes of street confrontations and the ultimate and fatal error of crossing that forbidden line in the sand. It was, at the time, a force so strong, we’d play it on as many different stereos as we could to see whose rig had the biggest bass. Lancer Dancer is the legendary champ on all counts of said experiment (his mobile speaker system would knock you up side the head and inject a subtle, but piercing ringing sensation, both pleasing and a bit sobering).
Scooby Doo, if only for me, and a modest core group of friends, is 1000 times more legendary than Stairway to Heaven, and will forever live as the biggest, most atrocious bass-tastic song I’ve ever had the distinct pleasure of experiencing.
You’d aroun’ da way, mang… I know where chu at!