Personalities | The Beastie Boys | Eighties | Rock
(Vocal/rap/instrumental group, 1981–present)
The Beastie Boys – Michael ‘Mike D’ Diamond, Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch and Adam ‘King Ad-Rock’ Horovitz – began life as a New York hardcore punk band, but under the auspices of producer Rick Rubin became the first important white rap act. Debut Licensed To Ill (1986) was a good-time rap-metal crossover, which spawned the hit singles ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)’, ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’ and ‘She’s On It’. These bratty anthems and the band’s over-the-top stage show caused as much controversy as first-wave punk. Licensed… was the first No. 1 rap album in the US. Disputes with Rubin led to a hiatus. The unexpectedly diverse and even thoughtful Paul’s Boutique arrived in 1989. Equally interesting collections arrived at fairly lengthy intervals: the funky Check Your Head (1992), Ill Communication (1994), and double Grammy-winning Hello Nasty (1998). Over 25 years, they stretched rap’s boundaries and produced some of the wittiest music around.
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