Throwback Thursday- Licensed To Ill
Before 3rd Bass, Vanilla Ice, Eminem and Post Malone there were the Beastie Boys. This group opened the door for white MCs who wanted to make hip hop music. And Licensed To Ill was their debut studio album.
Released in November 1986 by Def Jam and Columbia Records, Licensed To Ill was the first rap LP to top the Billboard album chart. And by 2015 it was certified Diamond for shipping over 10 million copies.
I’m not that surprised considering I’ve purchased this album three times. This was during a time when you had to buy physical copies. There was no internet or online streaming services.
I let the tape rock till the tape popped( see how I slid in the Biggie reference)? Someone borrowed the second tape and never gave it back. Damn you Chris!
So in the early 90s I bought the CD. A decade later I added the CD to my iTunes music library. Problem solved.
Who Are These White Dudes Trying To Rap?
But anyway, the release of Licensed To Ill was not without controversy. Initially a lot of MCs saw the Beastie Boys as culture vultures. Who were these Jewish guys from Manhattan? And why are they infiltrating our culture and stealing our music?
But MCs and fans alike would eventually give the group their props. Licensed To Ill was a classic hip hop album. It embodied everything hip hop.
From originality and creativity to giving the middle finger to the man, Licensed To Ill had it all. The best part was these dudes could actually rap. And they did it their way. What’s more hip hop than that?
When you dig into the album, songs like The New Style, Paul Revere, No Sleep Till Brooklyn and Rhyming and Stealing solidified their place in hip hop culture.
And if that’s not enough, Rakim even admitted these dudes were dope. Who can argue with the God MC?
The Beastie Boys should be credited along with Run DMC for attracting cross over audiences. These acts were instrumental in bringing hip hop to the mainstream. That could be good or bad depending on who you ask.
Sadly Adam Yauch, aka MCA died in 2012 after a 3 year battle with cancer. Rest easy brother.
Check out the visual for Hold it Now, Hit it below:
And if you want to see them live in action, peep this footage of them on Soul Train