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May 04, 2012


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Glenn Kenny

@ TFB: N.b., "Slow and Low" on "Ill" is actually a RUN-DMC composition, to cite just one marker of their hip-hop cred. The ostensible lack of authenticity inherent in their stance was always trading jabs with something like actual authenticity, which was part of what made them as interesting and engaging as they were.


"Slow and Low" on "Ill" is actually a RUN-DMC composition, to cite just one marker of their hip-hop cred."

And lets not forget the tasty cameo in Michael Schultz's Krush Groove as another marker of hip-hop cred. They were never playing a joke on rap music. The problematic aspects of the whole Licensed to Ill project lay elsewhere for me.

But like I say, I was hooked as of Paul's Boutique. And Adam was always the cool Beastie. RIP.

(And why do we never talk about Michael Schultz anyway? Did some pretty great stuff.)


High-concept and ugly, quite a mix, but I've never listened to a whole album, the 3 of them shouting at you like a drunken uncle at weddings end. Fortunately for them, they did not venture onto my lawn.


I would argue that "Girls" pretty much demonstrates the Beasties ironic distance from their subject matter:
"Girls! To the dishes/ Girls! to clean up my room/ Girls! To do the laundry/ Girls! And in the bathroom"...
Which isn't to say that they did not take the form seriously. Then again I'm about their age now as when they made the album. One only needs to listen to how terrible a group like LMFAO is to see how sophisticated they were even on an album as inchoate as Licenced to Ill. "Paul's Boutique" on the other hand has a Joycean density and Marxian alacrity. They weren't so much post-modern as modernist.

With regards to MCA he grounded the group by virtue of his impressive growl providing the needed balance to Mike D and Ad-Roc's Jerry Lewis whine. He will be sorely missed.

Joel Ehly

Unlike wtf (nice name, dickwad), I'll put my name to this post. It makes me physically ill to think that some anonymous asshole has shown up to mock one of the most humble and sincere guys in hip-hop because early in his career he was part of a musical act that made comments that were both homophobic and sexist. I'm not disagreeing that the commentary was there, but that 35 years ago. Get the fuck over yourself if you think you're some voice of truth pointing out the injustice in the world. The man is dead. In his lifetime he worked hard not only to fight religious persecution but to create a production company that opens its doors to a wide variety of cinematic voices.

You have to be a special level of douche bag to claim the man behind Oscilloscope Pictures was some sort of frat boy jack ass. Way to go, wtf, way to go. Thanks for exposing us to the truth.


"Paul's Boutique" on the other hand has a Joycean density and Marxian alacrity. They weren't so much post-modern as modernist."

If Paul's Boutique was their Ulysses, then Hello Nasty was their Finnegan's Wake.


And if you like hoops, I'll put in another plug for Yauch's DIY film Gunnin' For That #1 Spot. Available in Blu-Ray and Amazon streaming. Good stuff.

Not David Bordwell

"Girls" always struck me as their Ramones tribute, or maybe the flip side of the Waitresses' "I Know What Boys Like" ... a novelty goof.

john dodge

"Novelty goof" not in any way being a bad thing in rap back then. The music certainly had more of a sense of humor, from 'Rappin' Duke' to comic personas, like 'Cinderfella Dana Dane' (film references!), Biz, etc. I think the audience was conditioned/receptive to an artist that was 'just buggin'. Maybe people took the Beasties seriously, what do I know, I was 12, but since my first exposure to them was the 'Cooky Puss' cassingle, the thought never entered my mind.

More cred: My recollection is that you were more likely to see 'Hold It Now, Hit It'--a song somewhat less reliant on clowning and, uh, Kerry King to crossover--on Video Music Box and Rap City than you would the bigger hits.

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