Bluesbunny is no fan of hip hop. Everybody knows that. Bling and designer perfume just don't fit in with the whole rock 'n' roll ethos. However, it was not always that way. Way back in the eighties, just about all the dangerous music of the day fitted into the hip hop genre (and in case you were wondering when the music died, it was Eric B & Rakim's Paid in Full album) so there is a fair amount of it languishing in the Vinyl Vault.
Today, we look at the case of the Beastie Boys and "Fight for Your Right". They had made the big time with this one and all the boxes were ticked. Released on Def Jam Records. Check. Produced by Rick Rubin. Check. Got rock guitars on it to get that essential radio play. Check.
Much like Run DMC, the purer hip hop elements that would form part of their normal sound were submerged in power chords and big drums. Nevertheless, it still manages to sound dangerous. Well, as dangerous as three nice boys from NYC could sound. At the time, every white boy who was "down with the streets" would have this echoing out of his boombox. No IPods in those days, after all, so your musical tastes got well advertised. Know your audience, or as the Beastie Boys said "… living at home is such a drag". All round, a pretty decent anthem for teenage discontent.
"What's the time - it's time to get ill…" goes one of the other tracks on this 12 inch single. "Time to Get Ill" was far more like hip hop was in those days invoking the true sprit of the genre. If you were going to hop on a bandwagon, the Beastie Boys certainly jumped on the right one. Even today, there is much enjoyment to be had from playing spot the sample.
"Paul Revere" is another foray onto the purer hip hop arena. Quite clever in its use of sound with the 12 inch format letting that bass sample ripple through the room and at least they took the essential macho posturing and added a bit of humour.
The Beastie Boys are apparently still in business too. Bit of a surprise that. Actually, I am curious as to what they are up to these days…