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Middle-aged MCs still
Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
Review by Tony BonyataWho would have thought that when the Beastie Boys first brayed "you gotta fight for your right to party" back in the mid-'80s that 25 years on they'd not only still be the life of the party but also the reigning kings of hip-hop. Apparently not the Beastie Boys themselves as they sing "Oh, my God... just look at me. Grandpa been rapping since '83," on the song "Too Many Rappers" from their eighth studio effort, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.
Beastie conspirators Mike D (Michael Diamond), MCA (Adam Yauch), and Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz) have had an extremely successful career sampling, crossbreeding and stitching together elements of hip-hop, funk, heavy metal, hardcore punk and soul with all of insane haphazardness of three mad scientists. While some of their experiments weren't as successful as others, such as their last 2007 instrumental album of trippy, textural funk The Mix Up, they've rarely tread the same ground - instead always mixing together so many different musical ingredients, both new and old, that their records always sound refreshing futuristic at the time of release.
Such is the case on Hot Sauce Committee Part Two which morphs dirty keyboards, grimy lo-fi rhythms and the trio's trademark sophomoric and often hysterical rapping style, complete with cultural references that hearken back to a more nostalgic era of their youth (The Six Million Dollar Man, Kenny Rodgers, "Be Kind, Rewind," Ted Danson, etc). The album kicks off with the deep-fried funk groove of "Make Some Noise" and slips into the bass-fortified hip-hop of "Nonstop Disco Powerpak" as well as the rubbery and percolating track "OK." Singer Santigold joins the B-Boys on the soulful and sensual Caribbean dub of "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win" while rapper Nas adds a welcome urgency to the space-age hip-hop of "Too Many Rappers." The trio continue to mix, mash and add further mayhem to groove-induced tracks like "Funky Donkey," "Here's A Little Something For You" as well as the harder rocking "Lee Majors Come Again" and the psychedelic instrumental funk of "Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament."
What may have been viewed as immaturity throughout their youth, these three middle-aged MCs now instead seem positively young-at-heart as they continue to make us all believe we still have the right to party like it was 1986.
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