15 November 2013

15th November - Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill

Artist – Album: Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill
Released: 15th November 1986
Sounds Like: No Sleep ‘til BROOKLYN!

It took me a while (until the third song I think), but I get it! The Beastie Boys are just cartoon characters, sending up clichéd rappers, obnoxious teenagers and lager-fuelled jocks all in one go, armed only with basic rock samples, a horrible sounding drum machine and a library of god-awful rhymes.

I should have realised before – after all, the parentheses heavy ‘(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)’ is a barefaced parody with a comical video accessory – but I was never completely convinced that they were joking. It seemed a little bit like one of those times when everyone thinks you’re being funny and you just go along with it to save face. But, now that I’ve tried on the whole album, I have to admit that I’m a convert. ‘She’s Crafty’, ‘Girls’ and ‘Brass Monkey’ are simply hilarious, whilst the likes of the hard-rocking ‘No Sleep till Brooklyn’ (featuring guitar from Kerry King of Slayer) and the prominent ‘Paul Revere’ prevent the album from descending into novelty record status.

Like all good satire, as much as you can see through the ridicule and the wit, you also enjoy it for what it is. And what it is is a landmark album, the first rap LP to top the Billboard album chart and still the only album by a white hip-hop act to receive the coveted 5 mics from influential hip hop magazine The Source. Just don’t take it too seriously.

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       Rhymin & Stealin – 4:08
2.       The New Style – 4:36
3.       She’s Crafty – 3:35
4.       Posse in Effect – 2:27
5.       Slow Ride – 2:56
6.       Girls – 2:14
7.       (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) – 3:28
8.       No Sleep till Brooklyn – 4:07
9.       Paul Revere – 3:41
10.   Hold It Now, Hit It – 3:26
11.   Brass Monkey – 2:37
12.   Slow and Low – 3:38
13.   Time to Get Ill – 3:37

Listen to ‘Slow and Low: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwenqnZnX2g
Also released on the 15th November:
1960: Muddy Waters – At Newport

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