A wise man once said to me don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like the Beastie Boys. If you don’t like Beastie Boys music, you might want to check your head. (See what we did there?)
Friday nights up at The Diver Lough Lannagh were a big deal to me and my friends when we we’re growing up in Castlebar in the early to mid nineties.
It was always important to have the correct amount of alcohol which was purchased from an always happy P.Sloyans.
But it was also very important to us that the correct tunes were blasting through the boom box and yeah, Beastie Boys could be heard blaring through the boom box across the lake on a Friday night in Castlebar.
Beastie Boys we’re one of the biggest rap groups of the 1980’s. They formed in New York in 1981. Some members had previously being in various punk bands in the late seventies.
I was lucky enough to catch The Beastie Boys at the electric picnic festival in Ireland in 2017. Actually that was the last time I visited the event.
When a group has been around as long as Beastie Boys particularly a band that has made such an indelible impact on popular music every person’s connection to them is likely to be very different, and very specific.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Licensed To Ill as a kid and missed the Paul’s Boutique heyday by just a few years, so my first strong memory of them was navigating Check Your Head while my parents succumbed to Parental Advisory paranoia and confiscated the CD to “protect me” from the band’s corrupting influence. But it was too late.
By the time mom and dad started fretting over the trio’s infrequent, and innocuous, f-bombs, I had already become a diehard fan, infected (like so many others) by their uniquely intoxicating combination of rap, funk, and punk that wasn’t just fun and exciting to listen to but self-referential, self-reflective, and actively inspiring.
Of course, they also had bars and absolute bangers. (“Intergalactic” will always and forever leave a smoldering crater on any dance floor.) But after disbanding in 2012 following the untimely death of Adam “MCA” Yauch from parotid cancer, remaining members Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond have spent the past few years reflecting on their experiences as a group first with the exceptional Beastie Boys Book, and then with the Spike Jonze-directed Beastie Boys Story, a kinda-sorta live recitation/performance of key moments from their career.
Between those two projects, they offered some intimate and unprecedented insights into the journey the three of them went on to become one of the most important and influential hip-hop bands in the history of the genre.
The Beastie Boys created more hip-hop than just about anyone in the game. And they did it with style, humor and grace over a 25-year career. There was never a rap group like the Beastie Boys before they arrived on the scene in 1986, and there will never be another group like them again.
Beastie Boys earned a place in our hearts as hip-hop’s clown princes, serious as hell about their music, but never ever about themselves. Their sense of humour shone brightest in their videos, in which they came off like a cross between The Marx Brothers and Run-DMC, happy to make themselves look silly if it got their beats and rhymes across. But it wasn’t all goofball theatre.
Sometimes their social conscience came through, and sometimes their desire to dazzle your eyes as well as your ears sent them down an artier path. With their friend, fan and sometime video director Spike Jonze unveiling his documentary Beastie Boys Story, it’s a perfect time to take a look at some of the best Beasties Boys music videos.
We also highly recommend checking out The Beastie Boys book by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz.
The book show a great insight the Beastie Boys entire career and if you don’t like reading it still has some excellent photos from their career.