beastie-boysThere was some terrible news on the tele the other day about some people desecrating the Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn, New York. While I am severely disappointed in humanity over that, I thought we would celebrate his life and work on the blog by covering the band’s debut album License To Ill for our album of the week this week. The Beasties Boys were made up of Adam “MCA” Yauch, Mike “Mike D” Diamond, and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz. The group would release License To Ill on November 15, 1986 and the album would literally skyrocket to the top of the charts as it peaked at Number One on The Billboard Charts and it was the first rap LP to top the charts. It’s also one of Columbia’s fastest selling debut records in history and it eventually sold over ten million records worldwide. After the death of Adam Yauch, the album re-entered the Billboard charts at number 18 and it reached number one on Billboard’s Catalog Albums chart.

1. Rhymin & Stealin– The track opens with the sample of Led Zeppelin’s When The Levee Breaks before the sample of Black Sabbath’s Sweet Leaf drives the song. 5/5

beastie-boys-licensed-to-ill-insert2. The New Style– The track features a cool guitar/drum sample and features one of the most famous lines in “Ummm Dropppp!”4.5/5

3. She’s Crafty– A very educational track on the kind of girls the group likes which sees the band sample The Ocean by Led Zeppelin. 5/5

4. Posse in Effect– a track that showcases the groups talents as MC’s in the business. They sample Catch a Groove by Juice, Pee-Wee’s Dance by Joeski Love, and Change the Beat (Female Version) by Beside. 4.5/5

5. Slow Ride– The track starts off with the band sampling Low Rider by War before it just goes with a hi hat beat during the verses. 4/5

6. Girls-a simple and great track that features a keyboard beat and they sing about Girls. 5/5

7. Fight For Your Right– an amazing track that was written as a parody to all the party songs on the scene like I Wanna Rock or even Smokin In The Boys Room. This is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the record. 5/5

_18. No Sleep Till Brooklyn– A track that was a play on Motorhead’s No Sleep Till Hammersmith and features Kerry King of Slayer playing the guitar parts and solo. 5/5

9. Paul Revere– a track that was inspired by Run from Run-DMC where the music sounds like it’s being played in reverse. 4.5/5

10. Hold It Now, Hit It– The song contains a ton of samples in, but there have been lines from the track that have been sampled by Eric B & Rakim and even Eazy-E. 4/5

11. Brass Monkey– a track that is about a certain brand of alcohol that the group raps about in the track that samples Bring It Here by Wild Sugar. 5/5

12. Slow and Low– a track that samples 8th Wonder by the Sugarhill Gang and Flick Of The Switch by AC/DC. 4.5/5

13. Time To Get Ill– The last track on the album that samples a laundry list of groups ranging from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Steve Miller Band and even Kool & The Gang. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is definitely one of my all time favorite records, but the group would take the ultimate risk with their next album. They wanted to get away from what they called the frat party scene and they wanted to be serious rappers. They wanted to be respected for their craft and they would ultimately leave Def Jam after this record. Nevertheless this is a classic and that is why I am giving the album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade.

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