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Beastie Boys

Christopher Locke

Let's face it- Hip Hop has gotten a lot of bad press over the years, and some people don't even think it qualifies as "music."  But thorough analysis will reveal the depth at which Hip Hop (or "rap music") is woven into not only other genres of music, but many other facets of life and culture.  It's hard to look at modern fashion, art, cinema, television, or literature, and not see the influence that Hip Hop has had.  What started out as a method of expression for kids too poor to buy real instruments, has now become one of the most influential movements in living memory.

Hip Hop has traditionally been dominated by African American artists, which makes it very difficult for a trio of rowdy semi-jewish white boys from NYC to turn their punk rock band into a household name in the rap industry.  It's completely implausible!  Not only that, but the DJ who used to spin records for them later became Rick Rubin, founder of Def Jam Recordings.  Not bad for a handful of honkies!

In honor of Hip Hop's influence on the world, and the Beastie Boys' influence on Hip Hop, I bring you Hello Nasty.

Rigorously written, majestically performed, and expertly arranged, this album really showcases the Beastie Boys' diverse musical talents.  They are more than just rappers, they're poets and composers.  Each song has its own flavor, its own personality, and while the track list is eclectic, it's very cohesive.  It's got a flow like the mix tape you wish you could have made for Deborah, so she would pay more attention to you in pre-algebra.  It's playful, but not silly.  It's deep, but not heady.  But most importantly, this record is truly masterful.

Furthermore, the Boys brought Mix Master Mike on board for this record, and he takes it to a whole new level.  If you listen closely, you can hear the Tweak Scratch through voicemail.

Give your Pandora disco station a rest, and listen to this record.  I'm telling you.