Recently I've rediscovered the joys of Hello Nasty. When it first dropped, I slept on it. There were too many songs, and half of them seemed more like sketched out ideas than fully developed tunes. ("Ooh, let's get Lee Scratch Perry to do something or other. Ooh, let's do some Hawaiian string samples.") But for whatever reason, I've been listening to it a lot lately and really digging it. Even the singing bits. I like the Beastie Boys for many reasons:
1. They make me laugh.
I'm the king of Boggle / there is none higher / I gets 11 points off the word quagmire
People come up to me and they try to talk shit? / Man... I've been making records since you were sucking your mother's DICK
2. They are down with the old school without slavishly worshipping it. (Ahem, Jurassic Five, I'm looking at you.) I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast / But I'm intercontinental when I eat french toast.
3. They have aged gracefully. Who could have predicted they'd go from snotty punks to elder statesmen, while still maintaining a playful sense of the absurd and a passion for the culture of hip hop?
4. They disprove the notion that "there are no second acts in American life." Who said that? It's really stupid. Of course there are second acts in American life! Stephen Glass is publishing a novel for chrissakes.
5. Their production got better and better, and they learned to play instruments without becoming a wack funk band.
6. They've always been proponents of DIY. DIY, that means do it yourself / I don't sit around waitin for someone else And it's true-- look at Grand Royal! Not just a label, it was also a glorious (if short lived) full color magazine devoted to the Beasties' myriad esoteric interests. Remember that turntable foldout? That shit was opulent! RIP.
7. They made my favorite video of all time (Sabotage)
8. Ad Rock's down with the Ione
9. They've consistently provided gainful employment for Biz Markie. (For a few minutes on each Beastie album, and then he's alone again... naturally.)
10. They freed Tibet.