Recordings: Beastie Boys – Solid Gold Hits

    Who would have thought three punk-rocking Jews from Brooklyn would become hip-hop legends? Yet the 1986 debut Licensed to Ill established the Beastie Boys as the first respectable white rap group, though at the time it didn’t look like they had a long career ahead of them. However, Ill’s follow-up, the spectacularly sampled oeuvre Paul’s Boutique, was one of the most innovative albums of the ’80s.

    Four full-length albums later comes Solid Gold Hits, a sampling of their chart-topping singles such as “Fight for Your Right” and “Hey Ladies.” But the album’s necessity is questionable, considering it was only six years ago that Sounds of Science, a double disc retrospective, was released. Science captured the eclecticism of the trio, while Solid Gold Hits offers few surprises. Unfortunately, the album lacks their best work since the ’90s, forgetting the jazzy instrumental tracks from 1994’s Ill Communication and the bossa nova vignettes from 1999’s Hello Nasty.

    However, the compilation is worth checking out to compare how the boys have evolved from a frat house favorite into three MCs with a social conscience — for years they have refused to perform Ill’s classic, “Girls,” a song conspicuously absent from Solid Gold. Any greatest hits album may mean that retirement is around the corner, but in this case let’s hope not.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal