Beastie Boys
2. July 2017 By Walter Price 0

3 Reasons Why Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication

Beastie Boys Ill Communication at iTunes.

Beastie Boys

by Walter Price


I have no idea why (some) people (critics) had such a hard time with Beastie Boys’ 1994 release Ill Communication. For example, famed music critic Robert Christgau kinda had mixed things to say, “Another you-gotta-believe record, just like Check Your Head–only less so, thank God, whose appearances herein are frequent and auspicious. Although once again it’s short on dynamite, at least it starts with a bang. Two bangs, actually, one hip hop and one hardcore–their loyalty to their roots closely resembles an enlightened acceptance of their limitations. With each boy having evolved into his own particular man, the rhymes are rich and the synthesis is complex. You-gotta-love the way the ecological paean/threnody emits from a machine that crosses a vocoder and the p.a. at a taco drive-through, but their collective spiritual gains peak in the instrumentals, which instead of tripping up the Meters evoke the unschooled funk of a prerap garage band. If they’ve never run across Mer-Da’s Long Burn the Fire, on Janus, maybe I could tape them one?”

Alright, but what Mr. Christgau failed to mention is that Ill Communication is a rich and delicious cornucopia of what the Beasties had been building toward since invoking a hip hop legacy in 1986 with Licensed to IllCommunication finds Michael “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, and Adam “MCA” Yauch taking bits and pieces from their previous three releases, as well their punk days and finding new ways to incorporate and re-imagine lessons learned into an all-out killer album. Jazz, metal, punk and hip hop all working in sonic landscapes that probably shouldn’t have worked or even make sense in a year that was all about Tori Amos, Hootie & the Blowfish and Seal all over pop radio.

Add the fact that 20+ years later, Ill Communication sounds as fresh and exciting as the day it was released, I thought it wise to go 3 Reasons Why one of the greatest and innovative hip hop albums of all time….






directed by Spike Jonze


Sure Shot (featuring a sample of jazz flautist Jeremy Steig)

directed by Spike Jonze


Get It Together (featuring Q-Tip)



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