Sunday, January 1, 2012


I was so happy to hear that The Beastie Boys will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. What makes that more amazing is the fact that they are still putting out great records, as evidenced by Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.  Unfortunately, the album didn't get much attention. A lot of that is because they couldn't do too much promotion, since Adam Yauch is still battling cancer. But you really wouldn't have guessed that by listening to the album.

It's a straight up hip-hop record. There's no instrumental funk jams (which they probably got out of their system last time, on the instrumental album The Mix-Up). There's no hardcore punk, or hard rock jams.

That's a risky move for a bunch of guys in their mid to late 40s.  The current commercial hip-hop community probably aren't paying attention to them (although they get respect from the people who have a sense of history... and the fact that Nas guests on "Too Many Rappers" doesn't hurt either).  The production doesn't sound like it has an ear to 2011, or even 2001.  It's kind of timeless: on one hand, it sounds like old-school electro hip-hop.  On the other hand, it's very futuristic, but not in the Black Eyed Peas Euro-rave-Blade Runner way. They don't work with outside producers - they produce the tracks themselves.  Not many other hip-hop acts produce their own albums.

One thing that hasn't changed is that they still make great videos.  There's a half hour video "Fight For Your Right Revisited" (which is based on the banger "Make Some Noise") and also a Spike Jonze directed clip starring action figures for "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win." You can catch them here.   But as for the album itself, it's a great one.  I'm sure some people will say that they aren't "relevant to the hip-hop community" anymore.  But shit, I'm 40+, I don't care about "relevant" I care about "great," and this is a great album.

1 comment:

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