Middle-Aged B-Boys Balance Brews With Dope-Ass Beats

Beastie Boys
Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
Capitol

At the end of ”Fight For Your Right (Revisited),” the new music video “sequel” to the ’87 MTV classic “Fight For Your Right (to Party),” a young version of the Beastie Boys (with Elijah Wood as Ad-Rock, Seth Rogen as Mike D and Danny McBride as MCA) face off against their future selves (played by Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Jack Black, respectively) in a NYC street dance- off — culminating in a piss-off (literally) and arrest by the real Beasties.

It’s a video comically befitting the trio’s contradictions: They’re grizzled veterans, yet blissfully juvenile — and prepared to take urine in the face with stride.

But the Brooklyn natives have owned this identity for years. Youth has ruled Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, Adam “MCA” Yauch and Michael “Mike D” Diamond since their debut Licensed to Ill. But alongside junior-high humor, hip-hop swag and a hardcore energy, they’ve also touted an instantly legendary appeal, with their taste for genre-bending more influential than their punk-ass ‘tude implies.

Their latest release Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is no different, marking a return to adolescent-old-timer form since 2004’s more hip-hop focused To the Five Boroughs (we’ll forget their ’07 instrumental throwaway The Mix Up).

Like the group’s ’98 hit Hello Nasty, the album marries the Beastie’s sometimes divergent interests in hip hop and punk. Unlike earlier albums that traded off between the two genres, jittering samples and head-nodding beats are layered over heavy guitar wail (most evident on the Black Flag- riffing “Lee Majors Come Again”) like an imaginary collaboration of Henry Rollins and LL Cool J.

Though they’ve become less hedonistic since their youth, they’re still rebellious as ever. Lead single “Make Some Noise” opens up the album with a bang (and some cow-bell), as MCA chants that they’re “gonna party for the motherfucking right to fight!”

Their guests join in on the spirited, DGAF attitude. Nas is at his top form in MC battle royal “Too Many Rappers,” while Santigold plays it cool on reggae summer jam “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win.”

But the best part about the Beasties, made gloriously evident on Hot Sauce, is that they just don’t care. Hip-hop trends elude them — their innovation comes from the fact that they are trying to one-up each other and, of course, themselves — mak- ing them sound a helluva lot fresher than any “sucka MCs” who have yet to reach middle-age.

So when Ad-Rock spits “I’m about the best and if you diss then that’s wrong,” on “Make Some Noise,” there’s no reason not to believe him.

Hot Sauce Committee Part Two by Beastie Boys

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