Music: 3½ stars
Sound: 3 stars
Back in 2004, when the Beastie Boys released their NYC-saluting To the 5 Boroughs, Adam “MCA” Yauch noted in an interview that “what makes New York special is definitely the
water. . . . We got the best pizza, the best bagels, the best hip-hop. It’s the fluid that runs through our bodies.”
Of course, those familiar with the trio’s recent history know that their new album was delayed for nearly 2 years because Yauch was diagnosed with, and subsequently treated successfully for, cancer. And given the giddy retro-fitting vibes that permeate Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, I think we should entertain the possibility that somewhere along the way, the Beastie Boys may have also discovered a Brooklyn kitchen sink that not only cures deadly diseases but also, like a 'hood-tested "Fountain of Yoot," lops off years with every gulp from the faucet.
Echo-heavy vocals. “Funkytown” and “Popcorn” synthesizers. Steel drums. Reggae rhythms. Shout-outs to Lee Majors, Tippi Hedren, Roach Motels, Troll 2, the Lambada! We’re talking some serious wayback-machine moves here, and that’s the not-so-subtle point of this entire loopy set. After all, the Beasties were around before rap and hip-hop got hijacked by the gangstas — and, miraculously, they’re still around. As toasted by Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz (rhymes with shvitz): “Oh my God, just look at me / Grandpa’s been rappin’ since ’83.”
Therefore, Ad-Rock, MCA, and Michael “Mike D” Diamond don’t have to fight for their right to complain that there are “Too Many Rappers” and “not enough emcees.” Sure, they were young, loud, and snotty emcees, and as evidenced by the hilarious longform video for “Make Some Noise” (starring Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood, and Danny McBride as the BBoys in post-“Fight for Your Right” party stupor), that’s probably what they’ll always be. That’s their Three Stooges-like highly indiscreet charm.
Make some noise if we’re with them? You bet. Pass that cowbell, Will.
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