This week we welcome back Andy Hickford to the Dusk Dubs family, who provides a timely and wonderful celebration of all things "Beastie Boys" marking the anniversary of MCA aka Adam Yauch's untimely passing.
"Pretty much everyone over a certain age will know the Beastie Boys. From the perspective of someone who grew up in a midlands market town in the 80's their introduction was as brattish bad boys who horrified my teachers with their punk attitude and penchant for automobile badges. For many that is the image that stuck for a long time. Their punk rock roots, which they revisited musically, however disguised the fact that they would be a hugely influential, creative, thoughtful and skilled band for years to come.
Over the years the Beastie evolved from those 3 bugged out dudes (thanks Grandmaster Flash) into hip hop legends, not to mention a pretty tight funk and or rock band too. They also became a hugely visual as well as musical concern. Their peak period came before Social Media had really invaded our every waking moment and as such what you knew about them (as well as most other bands) was limited to what they showed you. The Beasties excelled at creating their world through their music videos, album covers, record labels, clothing, action figures etc... MCA was central to a lot of this.
As a band they were curators as well as creators, whether combining samples, photos, film, or indeed fellow artists; they would produce work that was often greater than the sum of its parts. Before Twitter, Snap Chat etc... they would convey a message, a thought, a belief, fun, funk, great ideas, artistic sentiment in a much simpler form - a 12" square of cardboard with a bit of black plastic inside. The image on that bit of cardboard alone would often be enough to get you to pay attention. Whether working with the graffiti artists Haze or Cey Adams, the photographers Ricky Powell or Bruce Dickenson or the artists Billions McMillions aka Bill McMullen or Alex Grey they would use visuals to draw you in. However they really took off when you slipped that black wax disc out of its sleeve, put in on the turntable and dropped the needle..." [ANDY]
You can find Andy HERE:
1) Sabotage Intro with Chuck D & Grandmaster Flash
2) Beastie Boys - 3 MC's and 1 DJ (Live Video Version)
3) Blues Project - Flute Thing
4) Rose Royce - 6 O'clock DJ
5) Tower Of Power - Ebony Jam
6) Rose Royce - Born To Love Ya
7) Ask For Janice Interlude
8) Alphonse Mouzon - Funky Snakefoot
9) Big Daddy Kane & Biz Markie - Just Rhymin' With The Biz
10) Michael Viner Incredible Bongo Band - Last Bongo In Belgium
11) ESG - UFO
12) Beastie Boys - Intergalactic
13) Stovall Sisters - Hang On In There
14) Rev Eugene McDaniel's - Headless Heroes of The Apocalypse
15) Beastie Boys Interview Interlude
16) Beastie Boys - Jimmy James (Original Mix)
17) Ronnie Laws - Tell Me Something Good
18) Jeremy Stieg - Howlin' For Judy
19) Village Callers - Hector
20) Beastie Boys - Ch-Check It Out (Acapella chorus)
21) Peggy Lee - (Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay)
22) Jimmy Smith - Root Down
23) Rose Royce - Daddy Rich
24) Beastie Boys - B-Boys in The Cut
25) Eric Sermon Tribute to MCA Interlude
26) Beastie Boys - Fight For Your Right
1) Sabotage Intro with Chuck D & Grandmaster Flash - I wanted to find a way to introduce the BB's without being too intense, before pulling this selection together I watched a few you tube videos, read some interviews etc... just trying to immerse myself in their work/world for a bit. One of the films I found was a short doc on the B-Boys and in part of it they had both Chuck D and Flash talking about their importance to hip hop, but also rock. When they first hit the scene I was at school and I can recall the mass horror at these brats encouraging innocent youth to steal VW badges and play their music loud. Therefore it seemed to make sense to start out with a bit of a boisterous start... some cheeky B-Boys behaviour and a blast of Sabotage...
2) Beastie Boys - 3 MC's and 1 DJ (Live Video Version) The B-Boys have always been about far more than just the 3 of them - though clearly MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D are the pivots - they always acted as something of a collective. As such Mixmaster Mike needed a mention too - so what better way to start the selection proper than with a track referencing the importance of the DJ to the MC(s). Of course beyind Mixmaster Mike there were also important contributions from many others along the way - Hurra, Money Mark, Mario C etc... not to mention the artists and filmmakers they also worked with.
3) Blues Project - Flute Thing - The main theme for this selection is the original music that the Beasties took and made their own. So the first sample track is this - which needs no explanation, it is of course used in Flute Loop on the Ill Communication album.
4) Rose Royce - 6 O'clock DJ - More samples, with a few coming from the Rose Royce 'Car Wash' soundtrack. I'll admit to not checking this OST for a while being put of by the pop-disco of the main theme, however I was so wrong. This double LP contains killer funk - not least this track as sampled on Shake Your Rump from Pauls Boutique.
5) Tower Of Power - Ebony Jam - Big funk tune this, of course sampled by De La Soul as well as the Beasties who used it (amongst many other tracks) on B-Boy Bouillabaisse), again on Pauls Boutique.
6) Rose Royce - Born To Love Ya - Another Car Wash tune and another killer tune - again used on Shake Your Rump.
7) Ask For Janice Interlude - Had to include this interlude - I wonder how many people did call?
8) Alphonse Mouzon - Funky Snakefoot - Huge jazz funk tune on Blue Note - but for better or worse you just cant hear this without wanting to switch to the Beasties - this is really how to use a sample - again used on Shake Your Rump. Which you just have to do to this really.
9) Big Daddy Kane & Biz Markie - Just Rhymin' With The Biz - There isn't actually a lot of hip hop in this selection, however what has been included is classic - you don't get much better than the Kane & the Biz - a big Cold Chillin' jam from back in the day. This stands as likely inspiration for the Beasties hip hop roots, but is also included as it was used in 'So Watcha Want' from Check Your Head.
10) Michael Viner Incredible Bongo Band - Last Bongo In Belgium - There needs to be a proper B-Boy Tune on a Beastie Boys tribute, so here is the break-tastic Last Bongo In Belgium, as used on Looking Down the Barrel - another Pauls Boutique track.
11) ESG - UFO - More classic block party action - the Beasties knew their old school classics when putting together their tracks and borrowed from the best. UFO was used on Putting Shame in Your Game as featured on the Hello Nasty album.
12) Beastie Boys - Intergalactic - Speaking of Hello Nasty - one of their best known tracks, the massive Intergalactic which of course sampled 'The New Style' from Licensed to Ill - as I say they sample from the best. And to complete the circle...
13) Stovall Sisters - Hang On In There - ...this massive soul-funk tune from the wonderful Staple Sisters that the Beastie sampled on 'Intergalactic'.
14) Rev Eugene McDaniel's - Headless Heroes of The Apocalypse - I'd recommend this album to anyone, a superb collection of jazz/soul/funk with edge from the Rev (who of course wrote the timeless 'Feel Like Making Love'. This is included here as the Beasties used it on Get It Together - one of the singles from Ill Communication.
15) Beastie Boys Interview Interlude - As mentioned earlier I spent a little time watching a few interviews before putting this together and this exchange stuck out - talking about License To Ill, this captures the Beasties in playful form - but you can't escape the fact that they knew their stuff too.
16) Beastie Boys - Jimmy James (Original Mix) - Not one of their biggest tunes, but one of my favourites. I love this version from a bootleg 12" (my copy is anyway) just heavy funk, showing these boys can jam as well as rap.
17. Ronnie Laws - Tell Me Something Good - Back to the samples with this lovely jazz-funk tune, and yet another Shake Your Rump ingredient.
18) Jeremy Stieg - Howlin' For Judy - Chuck D said - You gotta know Blue Note to dig Def Jam and the Beasties certainly did know their jazz. Taking inspiration from the likes of Ronnie Laws, Mouzon, Jimmy Smith etc... they obviously knew their Verve, CTI, Capital etc... too. This is unmistakeable as the sample used in Sure Shot - another tune that will never fail when dropped - classic Beasties from Ill Communication.
19) Village Callers - Hector - a latin/jazz/funk tune that the Beasties used on Blue Nun from Check Your Head.
20) Beastie Boys - Ch-Check It Out (Acapella chorus)
21) Peggy Lee - (Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay) - Ch-Ch-Check It Out is another of the Beasties better known tunes - this one from the Five Boroughs album and takes heavily from the Peggy Lee break.
22) Jimmy Smith - Root Down - This is just a great tune, Jimmy Smith is the king of the Hammond and has a wealth of superb material, that has been widely drawn from by the Hip Hop community. This slice of jazz funk demonstrates yet again the Beasties knack for how to ride a riff. Used on their own 'Root Down' this is one where I just can't decide whether I prefer the original or the B-Boy version...
23) Rose Royce - Daddy Rich - One last tune from Car Wash, Daddy Rich was used on 33% God on Pauls Boutique. If you aren't convinced yet - this should swing it - head out to your local charity shops/car boots and seek the Car Wash OST.
24) Beastie Boys - B-Boys in The Cut - This was on a bonus 7" on the Beasties last album Hot Sauce Committee Part 2, so it seemd good to start to wrap up the selection with one of their last tunes.
25) Eric Sermon Tribute to MCA Interlude - As we all know MCA passed away 6 years ago, his band mates deciding that the Beasties could not continue without him, a respectful decision that I feel preserves the legacy of the band. Just before wrapping things up, words from Eric Sermon on the enduring influence of the Beasties and a nod to their status as one of the all time hip hop greats.
26) Beastie Boys - Fight For Your Right - However things can end without a final rousing anthem. The Beasties Boys were too full of live, ideas, passion and great music to end a tribute to them on a sombre note. So what else could the selection finish with - a call to arms for all music lovers.
RIP Adam Yauch / MCA / Nathanial Hornblower. Musician, Rapper, Songwriter, Artist, Pacifist, Film-maker, Feminist, Campaigner, Legend. August 5th 1964-May 4th 2012
"I want to say a little something that’s long overdue/ The disrespect to women has got to be through/ To all the mothers and sisters and wives and friends/ I want to offer my love and respect to the end."