Louis Freese, better known by his stage name B-Real is an American rapper of Cuban and Mexican heritage. He is best known for being the lead rapper in hip hop group Cypress Hill, who debuted with their self-titled album Cypress Hill in 1991.
Born on June 2, 1970 to a Mexican father and a Cuban mother, B-Real moved with his sister and mother out of his father's home to South Gate before ending up in South Central Los Angeles Before dropping out of Bell High School, he befriended future Cypress Hill members Sen Dog and Mellow Man Ace (who forewent staying with the group to go solo). Sen Dog, who was affiliated with the Bloods gang set known as "Neighborhood Family", would later introduce B-Real into the set. B-Real's career as a drug dealer and gangbanger began to come to a close after he was shot in the lung with a 9mm pistol in 1988.
After being introduced to DJ Muggs by Julio G the KDAY Mixmaster, B-Real and Sen gained interest in Muggs' concept of an album based on experiences from Cypress Ave in South Gate. The group was signed with Ruffhouse/Columbia records in 1991, and made their influential debut that year. B-Real would use his life-threatening experiences as material for the group's self-titled debut album, and subsequent releases.
Cypress Hill's trademark sound - an eccentric combination of B-Real's exaggeratedly high-pitched nasal vocals and DJ Muggs' distinctive beats - led to the trio becoming the first Latin rap group to have Platinum and Multi-Platinum albums. They remain the best selling Latin rap group to date. Speaking in March 2010 to noted UK urban writer Pete Lewis - Deputy Editor of the award-winning Blues & Soul - B-Real stated: "Fortunately I guess the fact we were able to achieve what we achieved, being Latino but without really exploiting that side of it, showed like a whole generation behind us how you could have that success without being labelled as just one THING. Because back in the day, when you were labelled 'a Latino rapper', the record companies would only try to market you to that Latin fan-base which didn't really EXIST yet!... So yeah, it feels good to see people recognising us as some of the pioneers that opened the doors for a lotta these other Latino rappers to come through.
Aside from Cypress Hill, B-Real has been involved in several other musical projects. In 1996 he contributed to the soundtrack for the movie Space Jam. In 2002, he teamed up with Mellow Man Ace and Son Doobie for the short-lived Serial Rhyme Killas, which released one 12" single in 2002. The group recorded a full-length debut album, entitled Deluxe Rapture, but it was never released. B-Real formed a rap metal group, Kush, with Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter and Fear Factory members Christian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera. According to B-Real, Kush is more aggressive than other bands in the genre. He was also previously a member of the group The Psycho Realm, and in 2007 announced that he would collaborate with Sick Jacken once again on a new album.
In addition to his career as an MC, B-Real has worked as a music producer for six years, with clients ranging from Proof of D12 to the WWE. He intentionally kept his production for Cypress Hill down to a minimum, as not to interfere with DJ Muggs' involvement in the group, but has produced several tracks for his own solo projects. B-Real also manages a team of music producers known as the "Audio Hustlaz." B-Real personally produced three tracks on his solo album Smoke N Mirrors, 'Don't Ya Dare Laugh', 'Fire' and 'Dr. Hyphenstein', looking to outside producers for the other tracks. B-Real and his production crew will be working alongside DJ Muggs and others on the upcoming Cypress Hill album.
B-Real has released three mixtapes as a solo artist "Gunslinger", "Gunslinger Vol. II" and "Gunslinger Vol. III". He released his first solo album, entitled Smoke N Mirrors and has teamed up with Snoop Dogg in a single called Vato for Snoop Dogg's album Tha Blue Carpet Treatment.