When Rap started to emerge from the Black and Spanish neighborhoods of New York City, White kids who were developing the street level gritty music of punk rock immediately embraced the art form of Hip-Hop as a kindred spirit. The Clash, Blondie and the Ramones all made Rap songs but three punk rock kids from Brooklyn would go all the way and become an authentic Rap group. Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D would become the purveyors of cutting edge NY City culture for a generation. Tonight on the Friday Night Sound-Clash the roots of the Beastie Boys.
From the beginning the Beastie Boys eschewed minstrelsy and took the art form of Rap seriously while maintaining their goofball brand of humor throughout their career. Their first DJ Rick Rubin would invite them to record for his fledgling label Def Jam. Along with Russel Simmons, Rick Rubin would release the Beastie Boys debut and Def Jam would become the most popular Label in Rap history. Run DMC and The Beastie Boys would bring the indigenous New York art form to the World and with a perfect streetwise look and attitude for MTV.
With Paul’s Boutique the Beastie Boys along with The Dust Brothers made the case for sampling as art. Using hundreds of samples ranging from Flatt and Scruggs to Led Zeppelin and radio ads. The Beastie Boys created an aural stew and on top of hodgepodge layered mix of sound clips the rhymes and interplay of the vocalist advanced as well. Paul’s Boutique with the modern fees for clearing samples would never be able to be released today and stands as one of the Beasties’ most critically acclaimed.
For Check your Head and Ill Communication the Beastie Boys picked their instruments back up and dug deep into Funk and the Acid Jazz records of the 60’s and 70’s. Recreating what they had done with samplers now on instruments they exposed a new generation to the funky piano of Jimmy Smith and Richard “Groove” Holmes. With the driving punk influenced Sabotage and smart video the Beastie Boys reached critical mass. A record label, magazine, store, and concert series meant to bring the end to the Chinese occupation of Tibet the Beastie Boys shaped the culture and politics of 90’s youth.
The Beastie Boys remain relevant and their 2011 record The Hot Sauce Committee Two pleased long time fans as well as continuing their constant experimentation. Buddhist Adam Yauch MCA past last week and and a generation looks back at one who had such an effect on their lives. Rolling Stone surmised the Beasties place in our hearts best in the review for their first record License To Ill “Three idiots create a masterpiece”.