If there is one hip hop album I’ve heard more than any other, it’s this one. Now, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually heard it all the way through, but my brother owned this one, I know a lot of it. Sure, I know the hits – a few of these were played on Much Music an awful lot, I think – but I also recognize some other tracks that never would have been played on TV. So either my brother played it enough times for me to hear some of it, or I was exposed to it at some other point. Either way, this is the one hip hop album I was familiar with before deciding to listen to it for the podcast.
This is the second Beastie Boys album I’ve heard and, like their debut, I find it more accessible than most hip hop because of the background these guys come from. (Namely, punk, a genre I’ve listened to a ton.) Of course, this is also more accessible because a couple of these songs were what you might call “crossover” hits, played on rock stations.
But this album is a bit of a mess and, as others have noted on RYM, it’s top-heavy. The longer this hour and 7 minute record runs, the fewer and fewer memorable songs there are and the more experiments there are.
And there are a lot of a experiments. I hear some trip hp and any number of other tings that aren’t likely to be considered hip hop.
That’s fine, experiments are a good thing! But too many of these in the latter half of the record sound to me like filler, rather than good ideas.
But I really have no idea what I’m talking about. This is a milieu I know little of and I expect that what strikes me as not very daring or particularly effective is possibly a huge plus for your average east coast hip hop record. What do I know?
All tracks written by Beastie Boys except where noted.
- “Super Disco Breakin'” 2:07
- “The Move” 3:35
- “Remote Control” 2:58
- “Song for the Man” (with Brooke Williams) 3:13
- “Just a Test” 2:12
- “Body Movin'” (Beastie Boys, Mario Caldato) 3:03
- “Intergalactic” (Beastie Boys, Caldato) 3:51
- “Sneakin’ Out the Hospital” 2:45
- “Putting Shame in Your Game” 3:37
- “Flowin’ Prose” 2:39
- “And Me” 2:52
- “Three MC’s and One DJ” (Beastie Boys, Mike Schwartz, Wendell Fite) 2:50
- “The Grasshopper Unit (Keep Movin’)” (Beastie Boys, Melvin Glover, Sylvia Robinson) 3:01
- “Song for Junior” (Beastie Boys, Eric Bobo, Mark Nishita, Jill Cunniff) 3:49
- “I Don’t Know” (with Miho Hatori of Cibo Matto) 3:00
- “The Negotiation Limerick File” (Beastie Boys, Caldato) 2:46
- “Electrify” (Beastie Boys, Caldato) 2:22
- “Picture This” (with Brooke Williams) (Beastie Boys, Brooke Williams) 2:25
- “Unite” 3:31
- “Dedication” (Beastie Boys, Nishita) 2:32
- “Dr. Lee, PhD” (with Lee “Scratch” Perry) (Beastie Boys, Lee Perry Nishita) 4:50
- “Instant Death” 3:22