I am starting off by stating that the Beastie Boys have been an absolute staple of my musical life. Easily in my Top 5 of the ranking system.  Even after the premature death of my favorite B-Boy Adam Yauch aka MCA I listen to them often.

The first time I had the privilege of listening to the Beastie Boys was initially with She’s on it. I was 8 at the time… It was a single that wasn’t even on their debut. They then released back in 1986 album/casette named “Licenced to ill”. 3 original NYC underground hardcore fellas decided to drop an entirely rap oriented track that appealed to the masses. Ad Rock prior to “Licenced to ill” was part of a group named The Young and the useless while MCA and Mike D were hitting the hardcore NYC theme prior to his addition to the B-Boys.

Different types of individuals went out and bought, recorded, or spoke of their misogynist, sarcastic, and often perverted lyrics. Hey they were young punks making a cool name for themselves.  The album/cassette was an absolute smash. They opened for Madonna and Run DMC. After the success of their debut into the mainstream they were in a 2 plus year hiatus transitioning their NYC roots out to the sunshine of Cali.

In 1989 they released “Paul’s Boutique” which was hailed as a disappointment upon release. Critics were harsh on it which in my estimation even at that time was preposterous. “Paul’s Boutique” became a cult classic then finally received its due for being one of the finest rap/hip-hop CDs ever released. It was ranked 156 out of 500 on Rolling Stones greatest albums. It truly was beyond cutting edge. Beats and sampling that were and still are at a premium and absolutely unprecedented. It starts off with a loungy To all the girls followed by the funky and clear rhyming Shake your rump.

Shake your rump sets the tone for this entire standard of music. when “Hey Ladies” was introduced along with a video it was quickly a hit. The unfortunate thing was not many knew much more past that. From To all the Girls to B-Boy Bouillabaisse, it is forever worthy of listening from start to finish without any skip overs. Looking down the barrel of a gun to me is the most premiere track off of this. That’s my personal favorite. In speaking to many B-Boy fans it varies for an actual favorite track. Just a shade over 25 years and it continues to shine bright with music enthusiasts like myself.

So in closing even though “Paul’s Boutique” was the most prolific cd by the Beastie Boys. Their other stuff should never be overshadowed. They grew up and gained a maturity as they got older. They were advocates and proponents  of peace. The B-Boys sound will forever delight the ears of true music enthusiasts. RIP MCA… And may the Beasties continue their onward march for humanity and the compassion of all.

Note: On July 26, 2014, mural artist Danielle Mastrion created a mural in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Beastie Boys’ landmark album Paul’s Boutique. It was painted on the corner of Ludlow and Rivington, where the original album cover was photographed. (top image)

Paul’s Boutique
(Capitol Records, 1989)

-Genre: hip-hop

ps: check out my colleague Nicolas Pelletier’s review of another B-Boys great, “Check Your Head”, right here, in French.

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About The Author

Collaborator - RREVERB

Richie (Richard) has resided in Canarsie situated in the borough of Brooklyn followed by the trendy rural area of The beautiful Catskill mountains for close to 40 years. His undying love and dedication of NYC and Montréal Quebec is unparalleled. His passion for music are eclectic genres from rock to hip-hop to reggae to dance to funk to new-wave to pop to ska and onto Motown to name just a few. He is an avid traveler and absorbs the cultural sense of people and their heritage. He absolutely values his family and friends. Richie is a father to an incredible 16 year old daughter Bailey Rose and a has wonderful girlfriend Christina (Christi) who also shares his passion of music, culture, and travel.