in CAT

C.A.T: Licensed to Ill

Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill (1986)
Aside from a lone Tone Loc album and maybe some Sugarland Gang, Hip-Hop was a little lonely in my music library, that was until I finally became a fan of Brooklyn’s finest. Maybe it’s because they proved that even white boys can be funky? Whatever the reason were going back to 1986 for this week’s classic album tuesday and it’s time to get ill.

Breakin’ out in the mid 80s, this NYC trio were signed to Def Jam Records by now legendary producer Rick Rubin who would also go to produce the hit debut in question. The single “Fight for Your Right” would help propel the album to the top of the charts but really it’s the majority of the other tracks that truly define this party posse. Slick samples, big beats, all delivered with over-the-top energy and style. Chunky guitar riffs is a staple on Licensed to Ill even going as far as to feature Slayer guitarist Kerry King on “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”.

Though the boys from Brooklyn have often felt embarrassed for some of their less than mature lyrical content on Licensed to Ill it’s still an amazingly fresh debut that in my eyes was well ahead of it’s time. So many shortsighted individuals had written them off as a novelty act back in the day but I think enough albums and years of critical acclaim have proven that’s B.S. Licensed to Ill would only go to become the best selling hip-hop album of the 80s and still remains popular after all this time, ch-ch-check it out.

Favorite Tracks: “Brass Monkey”, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”, “Rhymin & Stealin”


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