Beastie Boys

As the early hip hop beats emanated from the streets of New York, three middle-class punk kids traded their guitars for turntables to become the first white rap stars. Signing to newly-formed Def Jam Records, their brash energy, DIY spirit and genuine love of hip hop blazed a boisterous trail of teenage rebellion on tours with Madonna, Run DMC and LL Cool J, as debut album Licensed To Ill (1986) shot straight to Number 1 in the US. Its fusion of booming beats, thrashing metal guitars and brattish cheek spread rap to the suburbs, before hits like (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) and No Sleep Till Brooklyn took them global. Moving to LA and uniting with producers the Dust Brothers, the mass use of sampling made Paul's Boutique (1989) a critically acclaimed landmark, but their popularity slumped. US Number 1 albums Ill Communication (1994), Hello Nasty (1998) and To The 5 Boroughs (2004) saw a return to commercial success, as they matured and spoke out against US foreign policy, becoming the first band to release MP3s through their website and organising Tibetan Freedom Concerts.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring Beastie Boys

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.