mon 20/11/2017

CD: Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

CD: Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

Hip hop's oldest delinquents go back to the future

Beastie Boys: How to embarrass your children and still stay cool

The question used to be: “Can white men rap?” A more apt variant today is, “Can white men in their middle forties with juvenile nicknames rap?” Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA recorded Hot Sauce Committee Part Two in 2009, but then put the release on ice when MCA, aka Adam Yauch, was diagnosed with parotid gland cancer. Two years on he is on the mend and the album has been tweaked for our discerning 2011 ears.

Any changes made since 2009 have hardly been to bring the style bang up to date. From the opening Starsky soundtrack wah-wah guitar and cowbells on “Make Some Noise”, this is an album that gleefully riffles through the various golden ages of hip hop faster than you can yell “spark up the Tardis”. There’s the punky rap of “Crazy Ass Shit”, the James Brown stylings of “Funky Donkey”, the "Planet Rock" robotics of “OK” and the MC Hammer-meets-industrial-jackhammer heaviosity of “Say It”, to name four eras embraced.

But don’t panic, Hot Sauce... is way more than a nostalgia binge. The trademark comedic call-and-response vocals are in fine fettle, even though MCA's rasps sounds rougher than a truck of sandpaper. As they announce on "Long Burn the Fire", "The proof is in the pudding and the pudding's in my pants". And when the Athos, Porthos and Aramis of rhyme are joined by various versifying D’Artagnans things get even better. There’s a beautifully supple reggae groove to “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” thanks to contributions from Santigold, while Nas lends lyrical muscle to a revised “Too Many Rappers”, a single back in 2009.

This is an album that improves exponentially with every listen, the bleeps, grooves and hooks getting further and further under your skin. At an age when they could be complaining about noisy neighbours, Brooklyn’s finest are making some of the best noise of their lives.

Watch Beastie Boys' all-star 'Fight for Your Right Revisited (trailer)

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