On Tuesday May 29, 2001, as another hot day in Southern California gave way to a warm night, some of rock’s biggest names converged in a small club in Hollywood named Vynyl, and treated the crowd to an amazing set of hip-hop molten down with hard rock. Collectively, they called themselves Los Mariwanos. Members included B-Real, Bobo, and Sen Dog of Cypress Hill, Rogelio Lozano of Downset, Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction, Stephen Carpenter of the Deftones, and Marty o’ Brien of Methods of Mayhem. The feeling was right, the music was tight, and as a group, Los Mariwanos literally lit up the night.
The evening began in the club’s back “smoking” room, where B-Real and Sen Dog spent most of their time mingling as the sound of hip-hop seeped in from the mostly empty dance floor outside. I asked B-Real if he could describe Los Mariwanos, and he did it in one word: “Good!” I soon found out just how big of an understatement that was.
As the night wore on, the small group of people who were on hand to feel the high of Los Mariwanos became impatient, like drug addicts awaiting their hit. Around midnight, the DJ stopped the wheels of steel, and all eyes looked up to the stage, where most of the band members had already assumed their positions. Like wild dogs being let out of a cage, B-Real and Sen Dog exploded on to the stage and unleashed their lyrical attack as the band violently played their unstoppable mixture of hardcore and hip-hop. I was impressed by the degree to which the band played concertedly, as if they had just returned home from a long tour. One would have never guessed Los Mariwanos to be only a side-project amongst these industry superstars.
The set included several amazing songs, and even a Bad Brains cover tune. At one point, B-Real encouraged a mosh pit to break out, but the mellow group of folks in the audience preferred to just stand and bob their heads to the phat beats emanating from the speakers.
At the end of the set, the boys gave props to their respective bands, and promised to return to Vynyl to do it all over again. The DJ resumed spinning hip-hop, but most of the audience headed off to an after-hours club, party, or to the Rainbow… still feeling the high of Los Mariwanos.