Insane in the Brain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Insane in the Brain"
Cypress Hill - Insane in the Brain.jpg
Single by Cypress Hill
from the album Black Sunday
ReleasedJune 22, 1993[1]
GenreHip hop
Producer(s)DJ Muggs
Cypress Hill singles chronology
"Latin Lingo"
"Insane in the Brain"
"When the Shit Goes Down"

"Insane in the Brain" is a 1993 single by the American hip hop group Cypress Hill. In addition to hitting number one on the US rap chart, the song also was a mainstream hit, reaching number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1993. It earned a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America and sold 600,000 copies domestically.[2][3] The song was released on the group's Black Sunday album.

The popular lyric "Insane in the membrane" is sometimes confused for the title.

Origins and structure[edit]

According to B-Real, the song was actually a diss song aimed at Chubb Rock. The group felt Chubb had ridiculed their style on his 1992 album I Gotta Get Mine Yo.[4]

It is claimed that DJ Muggs produced the song "Jump Around" by House of Pain, which was later used to produce this song, with minor changes[citation needed].

The song is built around many samples: a repeating sample of a horse from Mel and Tim's "Good Guys Only Win in the Movies"; a drum break from organist George Semper's cover version of Lee Dorsey's "Get Out of My Life, Woman"; a sample of James Brown grunting from the opening of his song "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud"; a sample of the line "insane in the brain" from Cypress Hill's own song "Hole in the Head"; the opening keyboard from Sly & the Family Stone's "Life" and a sample of the line "I think I'm going crazy" from The Youngbloods' "All Over the World (La La)," which concludes the track. In 2007, it was ranked number 85 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90's.

According to a live interview aired on Double J during a feature of the Black Sunday album [5], 'insane in the membrane' was a localised gang term used at the time by the Crips when doing something crazy. It was then appropriated into this song. The interview also notes that B-Real was a member of the Bloods.

Music video[edit]

A video for the track was filmed at San Francisco's DNA Lounge.

Uses of the song[edit]

The song memorably featured in the 1996 Simpsons episode Homerpalooza, where the band perform the song with orchestral backing (said to be the London Symphony Orchestra) to Marge Simpson's approval.

In 2012, the song was used as an electrical stimulus causing action potentials in the axons controlling chromatophores in the Longfin Inshore Squid skin to create a colourful display of the music.[6][7][8]

The video game Saints Row IV features the song during a scene in the game where the player character meets up with present-day Shaundi and her past self. The song can also be heard on the fictional radio station The Mix 107.77.[9]

The song is featured in the movies Bulworth[10], Mrs. Doubtfire and Scary Movie 2.

A variation of the opening lyrics was also spoken by Owen Wilson's character "Hansel" in the movie Zoolander.[11]

Track listings[edit]

UK CD single
  1. "Insane in the Brain" (Radio Edit) - 3:32
  2. "Stoned is the Way of the Walk" - 2:46
  3. "Something for the Blunted" - 1:15
  4. "Insane in the Brain" (Extended Version) - 4:56
1999 remix CD1
  1. "Insane in the Brain" (Jason Master Blaster Edit) - 4:06
  2. "Insane in the Brain" (Jason Master Blaster Club Mix) - 5:02
  3. "Insane in the Brain" (Da Funky Chunky Mix) - 6:36
1999 remix CD2
  1. "Insane in the Brain" (Nevins' Asylum Edit) - 3:40
  2. "Insane in the Brain" (Nevins' Asylum Club Mix) - 6:06
  3. "Insane in the Brain" (The Funky French B-Boy Remix) - 5:40


Chart (1993) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[12] 19
U.S. Hot Rap Songs[13] 14
U.S. Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[14] 24
Year End Charts (1993) Official
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[15] 65


  1. ^ "Insane in the Brain [Single] - Cypress Hill". AllMusic. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  2. ^ "American certifications – Cypress Hill". Recording Industry Association of America.
  3. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1993". Billboard. BPI Communications. 106 (3): 73. January 15, 1994. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  4. ^ B-Real Official Website Bio
  5. ^ Classic Albums Cypress Hill - Black Sunday
  6. ^ Gage, Greg. "Insane in the Chromatophores" Youtube video Vimeo videoBackyard Brains, 23 August 2012. Retrieved: 2 September 2012.
  7. ^ "MBL Scientists Discover Nerves Control Iridescence in Squid’s Remarkable “Electric Skin”" Marine Biological Laboratory, 24 August 2012. Retrieved: 2 September 2012.
  8. ^ Kenney, Diane. "Insanely Popular: MBL Squid Research/Rap Video Goes Viral" Marine Biological Laboratory, 31 August 2012. Retrieved: 2 September 2012.
  9. ^ Pitcher, Jenna (2013-08-06). "Saints Row 4 tracklist revealed, features 109 tracks". Polygon. Retrieved 2016-07-04.
  10. ^ Beatty, Warren (1998-05-22), Bulworth, retrieved 2016-07-04
  11. ^ Wilson, Owen (2001-09-28), Zoolander, retrieved 2018-05-18
  12. ^ "Cypress Hill". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  13. ^ "The Year in Music: Rap" (PDF). Billboard. BPI Communications. 105 (52): YE-27. December 25, 1993. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "The Year in Music: Dance" (PDF). Billboard. BPI Communications. 105 (52): YE-53. December 25, 1993. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Top Songs 1993". Retrieved 2016-01-05.

External links[edit]