Cypress x Rusko (Cypress Hill and Rusko, 2012) -- D
EP's like Cypress x Rusko, merging hip-hop, dubstep, and electronic (of the nauseating Skrillex variety) should be, on some level, provocative, risk-taking, and bracing in their sonic mix-ups, variations - a five-track EP like this must hinge on impressing with its fluent transitions and amiable maneuvering of different sounds: it should be a synthesis. Neither Cypress Hill or Rusko display interest in any of these things here - a pandering, unendurable melange of Cypress lyrics that range from silly ("When the shots go off...EVERYBODY GET DOWN!) to painful ("We came here to get you high" x10), the tracks and sophistication will only be satisfying to the lowest common denominator fan, whose qualifications are simply that "I can dance to it." Rusko deserves more criticism here, since the 25-year-old should be making music (much less releasing albums) that push the envelope, experiment with various beat progressions rather than churning out beats and hooks he could (and likely did) write in his sleep. It's more understandable for Cypress Hill, whose career now hinges upon 4/20 friendly shows and catering exclusively to their spliff-smoking fans. Nevertheless - neither party should be allowed to make more music until they check themselves. For a five-track, official release, Cypress x Rusko is inexcusable.