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Beastie Boys

Biography

In 1986, the Beastie Boys' first album, Licensed to Ill, went off like a bomb amid the international record-buying public. The New York trio's brash hollering and sophomoric humor, along with producer Rick Rubin's brilliant idea to blast heavy metal riffs underneath, turned the music world on its ear. On their second album, Paul's Boutique, MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D. loosed a torrent of sly jokes and deep pop culture references that, along with unheard-of production by the Dust Brothers that interlocked over 100 samples, resulted in a critical 180 for the band. This shot-calling in the rap world continued over the next two albums (Check Your Head and Ill Communication) before tapering off as the trio devoted time to developing bands on their Grand Royal label and fighting for various political causes. Their fifth album, Hello Nasty, won a pair of Grammys in 1998, and 2004's To the 5 Boroughs received critical praise. In 2011, the group released its final album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two; the following year, MCA passed away from cancer at the age of 47.
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