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Cypress Hill ready to make Simpsons joke real with orchestra gig

It’s a classic case of life imitating art.

Nearly 30 years after hip-hop group Cypress Hill agreed to appear in an episode of The Simpsons that featured them playing with the London Symphony Orchestra, the band will make the unlikely fictional collaboration a reality on Wednesday when it plays its Black Sunday Album in the U.K. capital.

The Grammy-nominated artists will collaborate with the world-famous orchestra at London’s Royal Albert Hall when it plays hits that include “Insane in the Brain,” which is also featured in the 1996 episode. Cypress Hill appear alongside The Smashing Pumpkins in “Homerpalooza,” in which Homer tries to impress his kids by getting involved in stunts as part of the music festival scene.

The Simpsons has developed something of a reputation in recent years for predicting the future — it correctly called the emergence of video calling, the winner of the Nobel prize for economics and the presidency of Donald Trump — although calling the real-life combination of the hip-hop act and the orchestra a coincidence might be a stretch.

Cypress Hill has been under fan pressure for years to realize the iconic clip from the show, in which a crew member backstage at a festival calls out that “somebody ordered the London Symphony Orchestra. Possibly while high.” 

While none of the band members seems to remember either way, one member eventually replies, “we think we did,” before the band plays Insane in the Brain complete with British orchestral accompaniment.

American rap group Cypress Hill in 1992.Steve Eichner / Getty Images file

For Louis Mario Freese, one of the two lead rappers, who goes by his stage name of B-Real, the performance is “one of those checklist moments.”

“It’s been something that we’ve talked about for many years since the Simpsons episode first aired,” Freese told the BBC. “We’ve played a lot of historical venues throughout our career and stuff like that, but nothing as prestigious as this.”

In 2017, the band reached out to the LSO on the social media platform now known as X saying “let make something happen for real.” The two groups announced the joint one-night performance at the iconic London venue in March.

On its ticketing website, the orchestra said that “history will finally be made!”

Cypress Hill has sold over 20 million albums worldwide and has sold over 4 million copies of its Black Sunday Album, according to BMG records.

The rehearsals have already highlighted the cultural differences between the groups with the BBC reporting the band interpreted “glock” as a gun while the orchestra understood it to mean glockenspiel, the percussion instrument.

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