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Sen Dog's Still All Bite with the Reyes Brothers
11/18/06 - exclusive interview

Sen Dog of Cypress Hill

Two years ago we spoke with West Coast artist Senen Reyes, better known as Sen Dog of the multiplatinum group Cypress Hill (click here for that interview). The Perro is back with plenty of ammunition, and three hot albums on the horizon.

Sen and brother Mellow Man Ace teamed up to form the "Reyes Brothers", and the duo just released one of the most heavily anticipated albums in Latin Rap history entitled "Ghetto Therapy."


With the new single "Traffic" getting serious airplay, Sen is already contemplating a Spanish Reyes Brothers album, his upcoming solo album, his rap-rock group SX-10's new record, and the 2007 release of Cypress Hill's next CD. Sen speaks with us about showcasing his skills, the experience of working with his brother Mellow and much more in this exclusive interview. With Cypress Hill, there are a few decision makers involved, did working with your brother Mellow Man make for a more comfortable situation?

Yeah, for sure man. Being in there, probably since he and I were the ones that started the whole Hip Hop on Cypress Avenue. Since it was a brother thing, we didn't have a problem telling each other stuff. If there was something that he liked that he was doing, let him see it all the way through, see what it turns into. Its a family thing, I guess we're not really so worried about what the other person thinks or says, you know?

Was there friendly sibling competition, one person trying to come tighter than the other?

I think on his end (laughs). I wasn't really tripping, but I know there was a couple times in there where I did something he really liked, and he would go back in and change his stuff up. I think there was a time, too when I heard something he did, and thought I had to change my s**t up. But that's all in the spirit of competition and making each other better, know what I mean.

Mellow's take on it was that both of you went in relaxed, having fun with it.

That was the overall thing, know what I mean. We definitely like to impress each other, with different things that we do. When I write my lyrics, I want my brother telling me, "I think that s**t's hot."

How different is working with Mellow from working with Cypress Hill?

Not much, other than the people that you work with. That's about it, it wasn't anything completely different than any other studio session. Except Mellow gets ideas really quick, he writes really good rhymes and he delivers them right there. He's an efficient worker. I guess the same as B-Real, the both of those guys, I try to work with them at their pace. The job gets handled then and there on the spot.

Mellow's dropped albums since '89, Cypress since '91, why did it take this long for a duo album when you were doing your own group thing with SX10?

Because when I started doing SX10, I wanted to do a whole different brand of music. It wasn't a completely hardcore hip hop angle where I wanted to come from, on whatever my next endeavor was. It didn't really cross my mind into doing something else for a while, cause I was really working hard on making that band work.

Are you still doing SX10 albums?

Yeah, we just finished a new album, incredible record that comes out early next year.

There were rumors over whether there would ever be another Cypress Hill album, since the group's contract with Sony was close to being fulfilled.

Sony contract, its done already, we already finished that, we fulfilled the obligation. We wont be dropping on Sony, but definitely doing some cypress songs. We've been working with B Real on some stuff. It's on the way I guess, we haven't signed with a label yet, but that will be ready early part of the first quarter next year, we look forward to coming out with something slamming.

So there's a new Cypress Hill album coming early next year?

Oh yeah, for sure, we aint ready to say goodbye yet.

You've toured for years with Cypress, is it easier to tour with Mellow because he's family?

Man, its all the same to me at this point. You get on a flight, go do a show, jump on a bus, do shows for a month. It's all business now, whatever band I'm out with. Of course we have our moments when we have fun, do our job, perform, but for the most part its a job, that's how I take it. Whoever I'm out with, its definitely a business. I don't really care what the next man does on tour anyway, as long its a functioning system that we have, and we go about doing our shows, making our money, that's all I'm good with, you know. You have to approach it as a job, too, because if you don't you won't last, you'll burn yourself out.

What exactly do you mean by that?

When you first start touring and s**t, and everything, it's one big a** party, you drink too much, smoke too much, stay up too late, and not necessarily eat good, that sort of thing. You'll burn out, that'll kill you after a while. You can party every now and then, you don't have to party every night. The better you take care of yourself, the better you'll be out there.

There's no complete Spanish on this album, why was that?

Not on this record, I just wanted to do a straight rap record. I wanted to do another project for us, where we come with some Spanish stuff in there. I was thinking of having a different entity from this rap thing right here, because I really want to go all out with the Spanish stuff. I wanted an English record too, I think that's very important because there's a lot of cats out there that aren't into the Spanish rapping. I don't want the Reyes Brothers to not be given a chance to be heard by a specific audience because they think its all Spanish stuff. Next on the agenda is an all Spanish bilingual record.

And the Spanish record would be under the Reyes Brothers name?


The group name is The Reyes Brothers, did you ever worry that the name and cover art might have music store owners or people pigeonholing you as Chicano rappers?

Nah, I didn't really care about that. Because before, we were concerned with that with Cypress too. People know we were from L.A, and there's not an African American member of the group, the one Black guy that is in it is Cuban. We were concerned with that too back in the days, but that's one of those little whatever things, we get over that hurdle when we get to it. By this time, most of the music buyers anyway know who Sen Dog is and what he's about, so that has little effect on what I thought. My true blue fans know enough about me as an artist, no confusion in there.

Will "Ghetto Therapy" appeal to the 15 and 16 year old crowd?

Yeah, I think so. People just got to have a chance to hear what's out there. It's your own job to get it out there, let people see it, let them make their impressions off of it and see what they think. Being able to be the type of group that can transcend time, 'cause I'm used to doing that with Cypress, perform for all types of ages, types and colors of people, different countries. A certain way to go about that do do that, but these young kids, those 15, 16 year olds, the internet myspace junkies, information know it all type ni**as, guess they'll catch up on it. I think it will be good, those young kids will dig it. As long as they like one or two songs, f**k it, I did my job. Its just a big setup for the next record. You just gotta realize its something you'll be building on, like a relationship with that particular person.

For the last Cypress album "Til Death Do Us Part", you recorded a lot of songs that didn't make it on the album, will we hear more of you on this next Cypress album?

Definitely, that's one of the things... that subject became quite a talked about thing when that happened. I still don't know why that happened. I certainly put in harder work than that, I did some really interesting things that people really liked. I don't know, I can't really say one way or the other. I'll definitely be on a lot more material on the next cypress.

I believe you said you recorded as many as 20 or 30 tracks, will that audio find it's way onto the Reyes Brothers album or the next Cypress Hill album?

Nah, all that is in lockdown, Cypress songs that have never been released There's a lot of stuff there, by now some of that's probably dated and s**t like that, I don't know that we would go back and put that kind of stuff out. Here and there, you know, we'll sneak some out in movie soundtracks or whatever, commercials or something like that, we'll use them for something

On his message board a long time back, DJ Muggs said there was a mixtape called "Lost Temples" in the works, filled with unreleased Cypress Tracks. Did that come out?

Nah, not that I know of, not yet. I've never heard of the Lost Temples.

Mellow Man explained that you haven't really been allowed to showcase yourself or shine on Cypress albums, will we see that on Ghetto Therapy?

I think what you're seeking, what's my personality or whatever, what kind of s**t I think about, you're going to be able to get more insight to that on the SX10 than the Reyes Brother record, and on my solo joint, you're gonna get more of an insight then.

So you are doing a solo album?

Yeah. Sometimes my producer that I work with, he tells me that sometimes I'm getting too picky. Because I'll do a song, by the next week I won't like it and won't want to use it. So, he thinks that I just need to be a little less picky and relax and not wonder so much or worry so much. But yeah, I'm working on that already.

I don't really listen to SX-10, but I'm into your old school music and was hoping that there would be an album that showcases that sound more.

I'm telling you... I don't know if you're not a fan of that because you're not a fan of that particular genre of music. This new SX10 record, you can't even compare the old one to what the group is now. Its from one album to the other, for music quality and for what its worth lyrically, you'll be surprised I think.

If someone wants to listen to some SX-10, what was the last album?

If you can find Mad Dog American, that was like the first SX release. If you can find it, I get a lot of questions about that. You want to listen to some cuts right now, you can go to SX10 on myspace, we have like three or four songs off the new record. To listen to some of my rap s**t, . We have music up there.

I asked Mellow Man this, as well as Pitbull since you're all Cuban: do you think Cuba will get better or worse if Fidel Castro passes away?

If Fidel was to pass, it would be a few years before things got better. But I think immediately, every kind of investor, whether it be real estate, commercial airlines or whatever, got their eye on there. The one country that's holding back from locking up the whole Caribbean. It would be just a matter of time before that place turns back into what it used to be.

Would you go back there to do shows or catch up with family?

Yeah, my first concern is to visit my family. I don't even know a bunch of them. A lot of my aunts and uncles I haven't seen since I was little, they're getting older and passing on. So that's the only reason I'd even want to go there now, I wouldn't even care about going over to do shows, I want to see where I'm from, since I was very young when we left.

Any last message for your fans?

Just pretty much thank you for all the support throughout the years, with all of our actions and endeavors. It means a lot to us, being creative people and having other people like what we do, creatively, that means a lot to us. Thank you for being a Cypress fan, or a SX10 fan, Sen Dog, B-Real fan, whatever. Thank you, we appreciate it, that's real.

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