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Meaning of ‘Superstar’ by ‘Cypress Hill’ feat. Chino Moreno, Everlast

Released: 2000 • Features: Chino Moreno, Everlast

“Superstar” is a layered critique of the music industry, drenched in Cypress Hill’s blend of hip-hop and rock. Through stark self-reflection and brutal honesty, the lyrics illustrate the highs and lows of fame, highlighting the cost of success in the ruthless world of music. The hit track also features the iconic voices of Chino Moreno and Everlast, whose contributions further underscore the realities of life under the spotlight.

The opening line, ‘A lot of sharks out there tryna take a bite of somethin’, sets the stage for the narrative. Here, ‘sharks’ signifies industry players looking to exploit rising talent. ‘What’s hot?’ refers to the ever-changing music scene and the consistent demand for the ‘next big thing’.

Friday night, large Benjamin Franklin’s, high tops, and private collections bring that old-school hip-hop flavor, talking about the allure of success-the fame, fortune, and luxuries. But it quickly swings to the dark side, with warnings about trust and the need for constant vigilance. The expression ‘Comin’ up in the world, don’t trust nobody,’ points to the manipulative nature of the music industry. This constant need for caution is echoed in the refrain, ‘Gotta look over your shoulder, constantly.’

The lyrics, ‘I remember the days when I was a young kid growin’ up’ to ‘losing some of your peers and losing some of yourself to the years past gone by’ reflect the hardships and personal sacrifices required to attain stardom. Cypress Hill mentions losing friends and even parts of oneself during this journey, adding to the bleak perspective.

‘Egomaniac and the brainiac don’t know how to act’ is a critique of the superficial personas that artists are often expected to adopt. The reference to ’48 tracks’ refers to the intensive recording processes, and this, combined with failed dreams of fast money (‘Studio gangster mack signed the deal, thinks he’s gonna make a mil’), underscores how the industry can exploit naïve artists.

The track then dives deeper into the emptiness of fame with piercing observations about the fleeting nature of success (‘No fans, no fame, no respect, no change’). Moreover, it unflinchingly addresses the tragedy of artists who are ‘dissed by the media and fans’ when they no longer sell, shedding light on the fickle nature of the music industry.

Finally, the song comes full circle, repeating the chorus about the dangers and pitfalls of being a ‘rock superstar’. The last verse is a soulful confession of loneliness (‘My own son don’t know me / I’m chillin’ in the hotel room lonely’) to further emphasize that fame often comes at the cost of personal relationships.

In conclusion, (Rock) Superstar is a powerful reality check, encapsulating the ruthless reality of fame and stardom, reminding any aspiring artist about the real costs of success in a notoriously predatory industry. Despite the gritty reality it portrays, the song remains an enduring classic, a testament to Cypress Hill’s storytelling mastery and unmatched authenticity in the music world.

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