New York City. 1986. Three Jewish boys make their switch from punk rock to Hip Hop official, their illing licences granted to them. Was it a total shift in styles? No, it was more like a merger of the two, leaning more towards Hip Hop. Did they prove that the same do-it-yourself aesthetic transpired between the genres? Yes. Is it scary how successful they have been across more than just rock and Hip Hop? Oh yes. Did they even change their names? No. And God help you if you ask who these fellas are, your face shall substitute for a kick drum.
Consistency, consistency, consistency…Beastie Boys have CONSISTENTLY put out quality music. Once upon a time Hip Hop was about having fun, and then they came along and made it about getting damn crazy. Yezzir, these boys are the true originators of crunk without having to resort to it. They may not release music annually, but damn if they don’t blast your ear drums every time they do. And that still applies for Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.
In no way has time and age slowed down Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock. They still sound as youthful and energetic as they did when they first earthquaked the scene; though you will notice that due to MCA’s recent health complications, his voice is much rougher…but dammit does it work well. Each of their flows remain precise and employing their trademark – though in ways dated – lyrical silliness to accompany the beats. Ah, the beats. Those gargantuan beats.
Entirely produced by the Beastie Boys themselves, the album is a great mixture of live drumming, heavily distorted guitar riffs, heavily distorted bass, and heavily distorted, warped and/or buzzing synthesizers. And of course Mix Master Mike has been brought back working his usual magic on the turntables.
Though the instruments don’t vary greatly, the utilization of them keeps the album sounding fresh almost completely from start to finish. This is owed to venturing outside of its otherwise dominating boom-bap territory and into, say, reggae for the Santigold collab Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win, or back to the Beastie’s punk roots on Lee Majors Come Again. Overall, the sounds are not a huge departure from what they were a decade ago, but the quality of it has been maintained so that each track still gives you the urge to Hulk your way through a brick wall [Make Some Noise], get all up in mofo’s face [Here’s A Little Something For Ya], or simply just set fire to, then break some shit [Too Many Rappers featuring Nas].
If you don’t end up with flames emanating from your sound system by the end of Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, don’t blame the Beastie Boys – only blame yourself, for you were not listening to it loud enough, you wuss. But if it made you go ahead and do some crazy shit like in their star-studded short film Fight For Your Right (Revisited) featuring Seth Rogen, Danny McBride and Elijah Wood as the Beastie Boys themselves, well then that there really is the point of great music. So how do you respond and react to the works of these pioneers? Does it make you want to chew through concrete? Smother your boss with a block of cheese? Headbutt a senator? Let us know, and have a grand time listening to Hot Sauce Committee Part Two as you do so.
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