Cypress Hill: How a joke on The Simpsons led to the hip-hop group collaborating with a symphony

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It’s true - it turns out The Simpsons always do it first. 🎼
  • Cypress Hill are set to perform their long-awaited collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra
  • The collaboration comes almost two decades after a joke was made about the band “hiring” the orchestra in an episode of “The Simpsons”
  • What was that joke in question that has now led to Cypress Hill performing at the Royal Albert Hall?
  • Are there still tickets to see Cypress Hill perform with the London Symphony Orchestra?

Create a pop culture Venn Diagram and more often than not, The Simpsons will appear in the middle; which is once again the case regarding Cypress Hill.

The hip-hop group, known for their hits “Insane In The Brain,” “Rock Superstar” and their penchant for smoking marijuana, are about to perform one of their biggest shows in history - headlining London’s Royal Albert Hall.

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The performance sees the group collaborating with the London Symphony Orchestra, which given other bands and their dalliances with classical music doesn’t seem too far removed. 

However, when you consider this is happening due to a joke made on “The Simpsons” in 1996 when the group guest voiced themselves during the golden age of the animated television series, it makes it somewhat more unusual.

So what was the joke in question that led Cypress Hill to perform this evening (July 10 2024) at the Royal Albert Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra?

What episode had the Cypress Hill/London Symphony Orchestra joke?

Getty/Disney

That would be “Homerpalooza,” the 24th episode in “The Simpsons” season seven, in which Homer realized (much like many of us at times) that perhaps he wasn’t “in touch” with pop culture and music by ‘90s standards.

That leads him to pick up tickets to “Hullabalooza,” the show’s nod to the popular Lollapalooza festival, only to be considered a “narc” due to his misunderstandings of subcultures, until he joins the freak show after surviving a cannonball to his stomach.

Much to Billy Corgan’s utter respect (more later.)

What was the joke in question regarding Cypress Hill on The Simpsons?

The joke in question stems from when Homer was officially part of the Hulabalooza lineup, taking his family backstage before his latest daredevil feat. One of the road crew is standing with some very well-dressed orchestral folk, leading to the following exchange (to paraphrase slightly):

“Hello? Did anyone order the London Symphony Orchestra? Possibly while high? Cypress Hill, I’m looking at you.”

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That led the band members, who voiced their own characters in the episode, to talk amongst themselves and ask “Do you know “Insane In The Brain?”

“We mostly do contemporary pieces but we’ll give it a go”

Queue an orchestral mash-up of “Insane In The Brain” with violin and cello stabs throughout, leading Marge Simpson to remark “Now that’s culture!”

What was the reaction online when Cypress Hill announced their show with the London Symphony Orchestra?

As you can probably appreciate, “The Simpsons” and Cypress Hill fanbases went wild. It once again proved a point in pop culture that “The Simpsons did it first,” with comments about why it took so long to happen when other artists from other music fields had done the same.

For example, Metallica released “S&M” in 1999 with the band collaborating with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, while Serj Tankian released a version of his solo album collaborating with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra in 2010, “Elect the Dead Symphony.”

How did I feel as a longtime fan of “The Simpsons” and Cypress Hill? I thought it was an elaborate prank until the tickets went on sale. 

What other musicians were featured in The Simpsons episode “Homerpalooza?”

A who’s who of alternative music talent; “Homerpalooza” features the likes of Sonic Youth, Peter Frampton and The Smashing Pumpkins.

One of the other famous lines from the episode involved The Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan introducing himself after appreciating Homer’s “metaphor” for being shot in the stomach with a cannonball (spoiler: it was all an accident). 

That prompted the now iconic exchange:

“I’m Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins”

“I’m Homer Simpson, smiling politely”

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What time are Cypress Hill performing at the Royal Albert Hall?

Door and set times have been revealed, with the following itinerary set to occur later this evening:

  • 6:30pm: Box Office opens
  • 6:45pm: Auditorium doors open
  • 7:30pm: Support: DJ Semtex
  • 8:00pm: Intermission (30 minutes)
  • 8:30pm: Cypress Hill and the London Symphony Orchestra perform
  • 9:45pm: Expected end of performance.

Are tickets still left to see Cypress Hill perform with the London Symphony Orchestra?

There are currently no tickets available on Ticketmaster due to the show taking place in less than 24 hours, however, there might still be some tickets left at the box office or direct through the Royal Albert Hall themselves.

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