New-ish Music Review: Beastie Boys; ‘Hot Sauce Committee Part Two’ (LISTEN)
Who says three white dudes over 40 can’t make a great rap album? Age, a seven-year gap, one bizarre-ass instrumental album and Adam Yauch’s battle with throat cancer have all done nothing to stop the Beastie Boys, who bounce back after one of the stranger half-decades in their career with a loopy, scattershot masterpiece they’ve decided to call Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.
What happened to Part One? Who knows? Depending who you ask it’s either coming out next or was scrapped entirely in favor of Part Two. In any case, it’s irrelevant, because Part Two is pretty fantastic all on its own.
Anyone who’s heard a Beasties record knows what they’re getting themselves into; the group’s gimmick hasn’t changed. The album takes itself about as seriously as a whoopee-cushion, which is great news in this current age of self-important, sermonizing hip-hoppers who are spit miles and miles of verses about their money and their weed. The Beasties, on the other hand, are all about a good time.
Their skill, however, continues to grow even in the fourth decade of their career; they’ve made a tighter and more focused album than they have in years, and it goes without saying it’s miles better than anything Wiz Khalifa could have cooked up. Give them a 40, a beat, and three minutes and they’ll put together a song that makes absolutely zero sense but somehow ends up a classic all the same.
They’ve even learned from their own missteps. Hot Sauce lacks the clunky patriotism of 2004’s To the 5 Boroughs, the group’s big, post-9/11 love letter to New York City. What it does have is an awful lot of funk, courtesy of whirlwind production from the Beasties themselves, not to mention a few hard-hitting guest spots from Nas and Santogold that give the album some bona-fide street cred to go with its retro-hipster vibe. These guys are two steps away from being your cool grandpa, and given the fun of Hot Sauce Committee, it’s kind of exciting to imagine what that will sound like.
MUSIC VIDEO: Beastie Boys; “Make Some Noise”:
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