There is no right way to start talking on the Beastie Boys. We all know the hits, we all know the videos and we all know the story behind these guys. If not then I’ll give a little insight. The Beasties were originally a punk-rock group made of Mike D, MCA and Ad Rock from New York but in the mid-1980’s were signed to Def Jam Records. Releasing the highly successful Licensed to Ill in 1986 they would later leave the label after disputes with label heads and leaving behind their frat boy era image.
In 2009 it was announced that they were releasing their forthcoming album Hot Sauce Committee Part One. But soon after a video appeared online with MCA announcing he was diagnosed with cancer. The album was put on hold and not much else was said until the start of 2011 it was announced that MCA had made a complete recovery thanks to his vegan diet and Eastern medicine. So now the boys are back with Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. Let’s see what they’ve brought to the table.
*All songs written and composed by Beastie Boys*
1. Make Some Noise
When it was first said that this album was coming out MCA said that the album was going to be a mix of obscure samples as well as them playing instruments. And this is what we get on the opening track. The simple call and response chorus is reminiscent of circa Ill Communication. The beat is computerized to the max but still remains a funky track to start to the album. Plus you can’t go wrong with a cowbell laced beat.
Here’s the video (check the massive amounts of cameos):
2. Nonstop Disco Powerback
What the B-Boys lack in intricate rhyme saying they make up with great flow. Check Ad Rock’s verse as a fine example. The beat is again a mixture of synth and live instruments. Another good track.
At first I didn’t really like this track but like fungus on the feet, it grew on me. It’s mostly synth as far as the beat is concerned but it fits the Beastie’s style just fine, riding the beat with some old school styled lyrics. The breakdown halfway though the song is fantastic. So far I’m really digging the production on the album.
4. Too Many Rappers Featuring Nas
It’s funny hearing a mega lyricist like Nas rap along side some guys like the Beastie Boys. On paper this looks like an odd pairing up but the combo really works. The beat goes H.A.M. and Nas tears it apart with the B-Boys managing to back him up. It’s a great mix of old school pioneers and a legendary solo MC. The production here will make you want to break dance battle any hater in your town. The track first leaked when MCA was diagnosed with cancer so it’s awesome that this song didn’t get cut.
Sidenote: It’s kinda funny hearing Mike D say, “We come together like peanut butter and sandwiches.”
5. Say It
From the shouted chorus and aggressive guitars, it’s easy to tell that this one was made for ‘Sabotage’ fans. I can tell this one will be played by fans who’ve had a hard day, putting up with the boss’ shit, fighting with your girl and coming home to find the neighbours dog took a dump at your front door. Throw this on full blast and scream through the chorus (“Say it! Let it out!”)
6. The Bill Harper Collection (Skit)
7. Don’t Play No Games That I Can’t Win Featuring Santigold
This right here sounds like a left over from Santigold’s debut that the Beastie Boys jumped on. Which is not a bad thing at all. It seems strange to think it took this long for Santigold and the Beasties to team up on a track. The chorus is killed by Santigold singing over a funky Reggae beat. Everybody sounds so natural together. Things are kept funky and kept moving. So far so good.
8. Long Burn the Fire
It there’s one thing these guys have learned to do over the years in the game its how to make an interesting sounding beat. The mash up of strange samples and live music is a good one. It might not be what some have loved from producers like Rick Rubin or the Dust Brothers but I think most fans will be pleased with this one.
9. Funky Donkey
Man some of these song titles are getting funnier and the content is no different. Again we get some colourful shapes put over some phat beats again with some big-headed lyrics. Classic Beasties.
Check some of the lines;
Go shave a sheep and knit yourself a sweater – MCA
Put this on a zip disk and send it your lawyer. File me under funky – Mike D
10. The Larry Routine
Just the Beasties fucking around with some singing. A 30 second skit. Onto the next one.
11. Tadlock’s Glasses
Ok now it’s getting a little difficult to tell the difference between songs. Here we have another track some robo-tastic sounds from the future with some slick lines being spoken. Not a bad track just the sound could use some variety.
12. Lee Majors Come Again
Ok I think I spoke too soon. The punk rock is brought on this one. It’s freakin’ sweet to hear the boys spit some lyrics over a fast paced guitar riff. You can picture them thrashing their instruments while recording this. Obviously they’re going back to their 70’s punk roots. This goes back to when they were a little more Joe Strummer then Krush Groovin’ MCs, but this should please most fans. It’s one of my favourites.
13. Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament
Again showing their skills on the production the Boys give the sucker MCs a break from the tongue lashing (no homo). Like On some of their previous albums (Hello Nasty), an instrumental track, is used to jam out on. Here we get some Peter Frampton auto-tune (no T Pain) and a laid back guitar. A big difference from the last track but it seems to fit. Nice!
14. Here’s a Little Something For Ya
Join the sucka MCs witness protection.
Other then that line it’s hard to describe this track without repeating what I’ve said earlier. It fits well with the rest of the album but it isn’t anything too amazing. I wouldn’t say to skip this one but its nothing overly exciting even though the over blown bass is cool. But maybe Mike D says it best with
Don’t really care if the press likes me
Just speak my conscience, speak my mind
15. Crazy Ass Shit
Crazy ass shit indeed. A short 2 minute track with an insane beat and some classic Beastie styled lyrics and what sounds like a little kid singing the chorus. A nice one to keep that head bobbin’.
16. The Lisa Lisa/Full Force Routine
A 50 second back and forth outro, which isn’t really saying much, but these boys keep it funky.
I was really nervous about writing a review on the Beastie Boys as they are Hip-Hop royalty and was sure I would have to shit on them with this review. But after a few listens I was pleasantly surprised by HSCP2. It’s good to see after decades of being in the music industry we finally hear them collaborate with some younger artists like Nas and Santigold without selling out (imagine if they got Soulja Boy or Waka Flocka on a track). It’s nice to know the Beasties won’t forget their roots. It’s funny, I remember reading an interesting quote about the Beastie Boy’s album To The 5 Boroughs which some what applies to this one. It was something to the effect of “The good news is it sounds like the old Beastie Boys. The bad news is it sounds like the old Beastie Boys.” But overall there is a lot of innovation with this album here, especially shown with the features. Sure there is one or two tracks that probably don’t need to be on here but mostly this album is a great listen.