Follow by Email

Saturday, May 5, 2012

MCA...

While I loved License to Ill, when it came out it was pretty simple musically, Paul's Boutique hit the streets and everyone realized that the B-Boys were not one-hit wonders, they brought the FUNK, and they did it at a time when funk was almost forgotten...



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr1Qe2m8oOA

Their flow, their choice of extremely obscure songs to sample from, all done masterfully...  The references they made, spanning everything from personal histories, burgeoning pop culture, and philosophical and spiritual concepts, it was unlike anything that had ever been heard before.

When Check Your Head was released, I flipped out, no way could any band understand music this well... So Whatcha Want became my theme song for a year, I would answer the damn phone with "So Whatcha Whatcha Whatcha want?  I played it so much that my friends would bitch at me because the tape was always in the car stereo, the CD was always blaring when they showed up to my house...  It is without a doubt my second favorite Beastie Album...



When Ill Communications hit, it felt like such a natural progression from the previous albums, it was smooth, it was hard, and it was a statement... a statement provlaiming loudly, we are the fucking B-BOYS, and we don't miss a step...

Everyone raves about Sabotage, but its not my favorite song on the album, I love the song, its hard frenzied beat is anthem to every cyberpunk game I have ever payed... but its not my favorite...  My favorite song on the album, perhaps my favorite Beastie Song of all time, is Get It Together, featuring Q-Tip, from Tribe Called Quest, my favorite hip-hop group after the Beasties... The song is 4 absolute masters of rhyme and vocabulary at the absolute top of their game, the pinnacle of their skills, and they are just having fun with it... and its fucking magic...




Hello Nasty was them taking to the next level, they continued to experiment voraciously, and each song on the album seems to be coming from a different place.  It was too studio for some, but to me that was just taking the next logical step in honing their craft.  The songs were polished and perfected, and goddamn they were fun... The album hit right as Yauch was forefront with his Milrepa work, but they didn;t ever let the serious messages they were putting into their music override the joy of listening to them.  It remains the perfect party album...

I think what really made the album special, what really set it apart, is it came at the twilight of the golden age of hip-hop... where it seemed to me at least, that widely distributed hip hop was in its last days of lyrically intricate, sophisticated, message laden works of art, be they silly or serious, and the genre was making the transition to catch phrases repeated ad nauseum by illiterate thugs.  There were some holdovers, and I am assured lyrical mastery and vocabulary are making a comeback in the underground scene, but Hello Nasty was one of the last really great hip=hop albums... Like all the B-Boys albums before it, you could listen to every song on the album, and every-time you heard it, you picked up on something you missed the first go around.




To the 5 Burroughs was my least favorite album by the Beastie Boys... I understand what they were doing, getting back to their roots, taking their sound back to the basics... but it always sounded to me like they were underutilizing the talents of Mixmaster Mike, and the lyrics seemed kind of rushed, a little too simple for what I had come to expect, especially after the long hiatus... but its still a Beastie Album, and I still love it... the worst Boys album is still head and tails over anything that was coming out at the time...  And Check It Out remains an amazing song...


The Hot Sauce Committee pt 2 was the Beasties back on top of the game... and a high note that Yauch should feel no shame going out on... They were a band of 3 kids who understood hip-hop, who transformed hip-hop, and who never once took themselves too seriously, while at the same time never once forgot that they had a message, and they had a venue that could change the world.  Adam Horovitz replaced John Berry in 1983 while the group was still a primarily a punk rock garage band... and the core three members of the Beasties remained unchanged for almost 30 years... They don't have the volume of albums some bands have who haven't been around half as long, but all of them were of top quality... there was never a case of buying an album for one song and the rest was garbage, every song on every album is known by heart to its fans... You can't leave behind a better legacy than that...  It is a sad coincidence that his death came a year and a day after their last album, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2, was released...



Of course none of this mentions how musically brilliant they were from a technical standpoint... Their instrumental albums, The In Sounds From Way Out, and The Mix-Up, say all that needs to be said, and rank among my favorite jazz/funk albums of all time...


Goddamn I am going to miss that sound... The sound of 3 Jews From Brooklyn... Three Wise Men... spreading their message of love, respect, and good times to us all...

No comments:

Post a Comment