I could have gone with a hundred different Beastie Boys videos or tracks to lead this post off, but I decided “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn” was fitting for a couple of reasons. The opening skit they perform embodies their entire career. They are 100% hip-hop but have blended many genre lines since their inception. Plus this is arguably their most recognizable song of their vast catalog.
I can remember back home in Rhode Island almost never hearing Beastie Boys records on the rap stations, maybe when I was in high school and they’d throw this song on the lunch-time-rewind shows. But WAAF in Boston played their fair share of Beasties, as did WHJY in Providence, both stations predominantly rock-based. There is no editorializing here, it just always struck me as odd that it worked out that way back home. But, that’s radio. And they do fucked up things.
My best friend from elementary school through high school and I would rock his brother’s Beastie Boys tapes until they wore out. I remember buying him Paul’s Boutique for his birthday one year. At Strawberries for probably $19.99. I remember he got the Anthology for Christmas the year that came out and we made his mom play it in their Suburban. We would listen to the Beastie Boys and stare at his posters of Jenny McCarthy scantily clad for hours on end. The trio was on in the background during our first halfies, that’s for sure. Shout out to Jenny McCarthy, where ever the fuck you are. My brother and I would blast Ill Communication at inaudible levels whenever we had the house to ourselves. The liner notes had lyrics in those days so “Get it Together” was one of the first rap songs I can recall reciting. I can’t believe I can still remember all the lyrics. Whenever someone says “the phone is ringing” to this day, no matter the instance, I finish and say “Oh my god!” in my best Q-Tip voice.