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Cypress Hill cancels Rialto concert to protest SB 1070
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Cypress Hill cancels Rialto concert to protest SB 1070

  • Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

Latino hip-hop group Cypress Hill has canceled their May 21 concert at Tucson's Rialto Theatre.

The band printed the following statement on their website Monday.

In a show of resistance to the criminalization of immigrant communities and in opposition to SB1070, recently signed into Arizona legislation, Cypress Hill has elected to cancel a performance scheduled in Tucson for May 21, 2010. This decision was made in an effort to show support and solidarity with those, undocumented and otherwise, being directly affected by this unconstitutional "law". Cypress Hill recognizes those living in the struggle for their basic civil rights. Rise Up!

While disappointed, Rialto booker Curtis McCrary was sympathetic: "I understand where they're coming from. It's a completely unjust law. And one of the worst things about this law is that it's bad for business."

McCrary said he tried to convince the band to play the show as a platform to voice their concerns. "Ultimately, they decided that the boycott was a more powerful message," he said.

The Rialto will not seek damages or repayment for any promotional costs they incurred, and have an agreement to bring the band back if and when SB 1070 is repealed, McCrary said.

Those who purchased tickets for the show can obtain refunds at the point of purchase, or automatically for credit card buyers.

Formed in 1988 in southern California, Cypress Hill had major hits in 1991 with their debut album, "Cypress Hill," which went double platinum, and their follow-up in 1993, "Black Sunday."

Also known for their strong stance in favor of the legalization of marijuana, the band contributed the single "I Wanna Get High" to a High Times magazine compilation CD to benefit NORML, a national legalization lobbying group. Famously, member Muggs smoked a joint on "Saturday Night Live" during the band's performance of their hit single "I Ain't Goin' Out Like That."

The band kicked off a US tour in support of its latest studio album "Rise Up" in Philadelphia on April 10th.

In celebration of the band's imminent arrival, muralist Joe Pagac painted a Cypress Hill mural on the west wall of the Rialto last month. This was, of course, before Gov. Brewer signed SB 1070 into law, and before U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva called for a boycott of the state.

According to Grijalva spokesman Adam Sarvana, the boycott was meant to be for conventions only; however, many in the entertainment industry are taking the implications of SB 1070 quite seriously. On April 30, Colombian pop diva Shakira visited with state officials and concerned citizens at the state capitol.

What's your take?

Do you think Cypress Hill is right to cancel? If you were planning to attend, what songs will you miss hearing most?

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