I woke up this morning and decided I wanted to review the new Beastie Boys album. No reason why, really. I haven’t been interested in anything Beastie Boys-related since I was a teenager, and honestly I had forgotten that this album was coming out this month. I’ve lost whatever belief I had as a youngster that these three Jewish kids from New York could grow up and have a lengthy career as good as the one their potential showed might be possible.
Over the years I’ve listened to each new album as they’ve moved further and further away from the bad boys they used to be. Freeing Tibet, denouncing their mysoginistic lyrics, trying to force creative juices by going back to live instrumentation…these are not things I want from the Beastie Boys I grew up loving. And with The Hot Sauce Committee, pt. 2 reviews I had read before release, I thought what I was in for would be something resembling the good old days. Boy was I wrong.
There’s nothing worse than a rap album that puts you to sleep. Mike D, Ad Rock, and MCA sound like they’ve just finished an all-afternoon marathon of Murder, She Wrote and need to take a nap before dinner. Even Nas, who guests on the song “Too Many Rappers,” sounds bored. What could it possibly take to get Nas going? He spends most of his time in the yard slurping a milkshake, and the rest of the time playing with a guy who calls himself “Gong.” It’s a sad day when the only highlight is Santigold.
I get what the Beastie Boys were trying to do here, but it’s too late. This desperate reach for a return to glory would have been a mistake a decade ago. Now it just seems pathetic. You haven’t put out an album that’s good from start to finish since Paul’s Boutique, and nothing you can do can change that. I’m sorry. I really am. And for the fans who still support your music, weird man-child sorts who still talk about the frat they belong to ten years after graduation while they’re roasting a “J” at the Dave Matthews concert, the least you could do is go gently into the night instead of raging and making them endure garbage like this.
For a song that completely captures the feeling I think the guys were going after with this record, let’s kick it oldschool: