By Hunter Rothwell
The non-stop, goin’ off, king-pen, microphone boss
/ do my own thing, you can’t afford the cost / of my
fly styles that complete the turn-style / cause it’s
live and direct, and I’m wiggidy wild!
So raps Ad Rock in “Nonstop Disco Powerpack,”
the second of several quotable tracks on the Beastie
Boys’ long-awaited new album, Hot Sauce
Committee, Part Two.
After seven years, the Beastie Boys are back. Michael
“Mike D” Diamond, Adam “MCA” Yauch,
and Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz have been pumping
out hip-hop standards since the release of
their first studio album, Licensed to Ill, which hit
the music scene by storm in 1986 and catapulted
rap music into the mainstream (along with the
help of Run-DMC). The trio’s first effort became
the best selling rap album of the 1980s and
the first rap album to go No. 1 on the Billboard
Since then, the Beasties have always been good
for a new album about every five years. They
were on track to release Hot Sauce Committee,
Part One back in 2009, when tragedy struck.
Yauch discovered a cancerous tumor in his parotid
gland and a lymph node. The band announced the
cancelation of all scheduled shows and delayed
the release of their forthcoming album. The band
mates of 30+ years took a hiatus until Yauch recovered
from his treatments. The break resulted
in a revised Hot Sauce Committee, Part Two.
This new album is “old school” in its style and
delivery, and is good enough to stand up against
the Beasties’ strongest work. The backbone to
their storytelling is a combination of fun lyrics
and tight flowing MC’s dueling for supremacy
of the mic. The Beastie Boys never try for mainstream
sound; they do their own thing, and are
only out to impress themselves. Instead, the
mainstream comes to them.
2004’s To The 5 Burroughs was a nice addition to
the catalog, but it was a bit more serious due to
the environment in post-9/11 New York City—
where the Beasties have lived all their lives.
This time around, the Beasties are all about
having fun. The album opens up with the funky
keyboard banging “Make Some Noise,” in the
tradition of 1999’s must-see video, Intergalactic.
“OK” is a bouncy, yet heavy, track that lays out
just how talented Mike D, MCA, and Ad Rock
are as vocalists. Throughout the album, they
unleash honest lyrics over complicated beats.
As usual, they’ve included a punk rock song to
honor their earliest roots. “Lee Majors Come
Again” is every bit as tight and witty as their hiphop
tracks and fits perfectly on this album.
All three of the original members are still inspired;
their voices never come across as stale
or reprocessed. When Rolling Stone Magazine
reviewed Licensed to Ill in 1986, the now famous
headline declared, “Three Idiots Create a Masterpiece”.
On September 27, 2007 they were nominated
for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame. Now they’re the respected old guys;
however, MCA, Mike D and Ad Rock are still
bringing it like those rebellious 20-somethings
that changed popular music.