‘The Simpsons’ inspires Cypress Hill, London Symphony Orchestra performance

LONDON — A joke made on “The Simpsons” television show almost 30 years ago will become a reality in London on Wednesday evening.

For the first time the U.S. hip-hop collective, Cypress Hill, will perform at the Royal Albert Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) for a one-off event.

The collaboration first featured in cartoon form in 1996 on an episode of “The Simpsons” entitled “Homerpalooza.” The episode sees hapless patriarch Homer try to impress his children by attending the fictional “Hullabalooza” music festival with guests there including Cypress Hill.

One scene in the cartoon shows an assistant backstage address a room full of musicians: “Somebody ordered the London Symphony Orchestra. Possibly while high? Cypress Hill — I’m looking in your direction.” The band sheepishly admits it was probably them, and the British orchestra then begins playing classical music to accompany the band’s hip-hop tones as Marge nods along approvingly, claiming: “Now this I like.”

After years of fan pressure to turn the fictional moment into a reality, it’s finally happening.

Cypress Hill will perform hits from its “revered album Black Sunday as well as other hits from their extensive back-catalogue,” according to the official event website.

“After years of fans hoping for such a collaboration to become reality, Cypress Hill reached out to the LSO over social media and so history will finally be made!” it said.

The classical orchestra will be conducted by Troy Miller and feature “unique orchestral arrangements” of the group’s hits including “Insane in the Brain” and “I Wanna Get High.”

Band member B-Real tweeted a mock “Simpsons” poster for the July 10 event with the caption: “When life imitates art!!”

The California rap group Cypress Hill, which features members B-Real, Sen Dog, DJ Muggs and Bobo, found prominent fame in the 1990s with its magnum opus LP “Black Sunday.” It has sold over 20 million albums worldwide, according to its website, earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and gained three Grammy Award nominations.

The band told ITV London News this week in an interview that fan fever following “The Simpsons” episode had “infected us.”

“It immortalized us in ‘The Simpsons’ universe … and that was an honor in itself,” said B-Real. He called the collaboration a “bridge.”

“It’s showing the adaptability of hip-hop, which is made from every musical form, that it could actually be re-created by the oldest form of music and put out there,” he added, referring to classical music.

Maxine Kwok, the first violinist of the orchestra told BBC radio: “I’m a huge fan of ‘The Simpsons’ … I remember the episode well.”

Each time the episode was shown as a repeat in the United States or the United Kingdom it would lead to fresh social media pressure on the LSO to collaborate with the band, Kwok said.

The orchestra has been seriously considering it since 2017, she added, but now it’s “finally able to actually happen … and people are just beyond excited,” said Kwok. She teased the concert was going to be “insane,” riffing off their popular song “Insane in the Brain.”

“The Simpsons” has earned a reputation for predicting, or giving birth to, real life events.

In an episode that aired in 2000, Lisa Simpson becomes president of the United States and claims: “We’ve inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump,” predicting a Donald Trump presidency 17 years ahead of time. The show also depicted a U.S. win over Sweden in a Winter Olympics curling episode in 2010, something that happened in real life in 2018 at the PyeongChang games in South Korea, when the U.S. men’s curling team won gold for the first time in Olympic history.

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