beastie boys
14. September 2016 By Walter Price 0

Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill 30

Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill at 30

beastie boys


by Walter Price


On November 15 Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill turns 30 years old, 30! Forget the fact that Beastie Boys may be the only rap group to shout out Abe Vigoda, “I got a girl in the Castle and one in the pagoda. You know I got rhymes like Abe Vigoda” and let’s not dwell on the fact the album is a bit juvenile and fratty. Licensed to Ill is one of the most influential albums of all time. And deservingly so.

This album further expanded (if not full introduced the masses to) the growing legacy of Def Jam, Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin. Three Jewish punks from NYC getting partied up, nasty, silly, insane was perfectly timed. The 8ß’s were a goofy era indeed. Pop music was colorful and cheesy. The Beasties came out in a blast of Budweiser stained antics, great videos and voices of falsely perceived anti-parent good rimes.

Hey, remember what the album was first called? “Don’t Be A Faggot”…good grief. That ridiculous fact aside, In 1986 there was nothing like Licensed to Ill. Rebellious lyrics, heavy beats and a pathway for white suburban kids to get into the rap genre. LL Cool J, RUN DMC and Beastie Boys changed everything.

I got this album as soon as it came out, well, I got it at Christmas. There wasn’t the internet to make me aware of its existence immediately but as word reached my desert town, I was in! My pals and I analyzed the words. We didn’t understand misogyny, puberal violence, irony or such things. We just loved the ‘wilding’ of the content. And they, again, were white. I don’t think anyone at the time thought it was possible for three white dudes to come out swinging in the rap game as the Beasties did. But they did, the album lives on. Not there best release but a cornerstone to what would become one of the most groundbreaking groups of all time.

Good times.






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