November 15, 1986 - 2021: 35 years of: Licensed To Ill.

They fought for our right to party.

NYC's deadly trio hiphop-ed their way into the stratosphere of rocknroll, one rhyme at a time. After demoing and b-boying in the local DIY scene, an unknown Rick Rubin tagged along and with Def Jam's earthshaker PUBLIC ENEMY and L.L. COOL J, this unit forever changed the face of alternative-rock.

From their underground NYHC-roots, to opening for MADONNA in 1985, to Lollapalooza '94 to the sold-out main-stage around the world, all these brass monkeys needed was a license to ill.

Break the beat down, as "Rhythm & Stealin" ring aloud in yer boom-box. On to the über-hyp "The New Style", a track that cracks skulls with it's phat bassdrum-kick. Check your head as the heavy low-end ass-kickin' "Slow And Low" is a declaration of war, while the discotheque favorite "Girls" ablazes with it's un-politically correct lyrics ...but hey it's the 80s !

From the dancefloor to the moshpit, rockers and rappers worldwide unite under one roof, as the BOYS did "Fight For Your Right" party. A simple AC/DC-ish riff and classicrock pattern, mixed with freestyle lyrics and delivery. The festivities becomes a global phenomenon, MTV pushes the venom and eventually the record becomes RIAA-certified 10x Platinum. Rock around the clock, head East as there's "No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn" ...another rock / metal cut that fuses genre and street attitude. This title is an homage to MOTÖRHEAD's 1981's live LP "No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith".

These three lovable bums would rapidly become the new top-trend along the usual rock-shenanigans. The BEASTIE BOYS not only became the cornerstone of white-rappers and show-stoppers, but they fully criss-crossed hardcore and hiphop into this new volatile hybrid we now take for granted: alternative-rock ...that later morphed into rapmetal / nümetal.

While the mid-80s L.A. hardrock would dominate the airwaves, the BEASTIEs would inject more hard edge to the growing East-Coast hiphop scene on Round Two with 1989's bass-droppin' rump shakin' intergalactic Paul's Boutique LP.

RIP Adam MCA Yauch (1964-2012)

Fight For Your Right = video
No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn = video
She's Crafty = video
Licensed To Ill = full LP
Interview in 1986
Live at Montreux in 1987


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