Beastie Boys Book
It’s been too long since a generation of fans heard from their cool, older brothers in Beastie Boys. In their prime, the Beasties were the ultimate crate-diggers and tastemakers, copping only the finest samples and musical styles to create their own unique thing. Surviving members Michael Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) reconvene to reflect upon their life and work with Beastie Boys Book, and to pay tribute to their brother, the late musician, filmmaker and creative driving force Adam Yauch (MCA), who passed away in 2012. The result is a poignant, hilarious, timetravelling and awe-inspiring mixtape for your eyes.
The story of the Beasties and their sound(s) is ultimately also about the cities they lived in when they were working. Being in NYC when hardcore and hip-hop first appeared meant they could quickly go from witnesses to participants, and those formative experiences were part of their core forever. In Los Angeles, they were exposed to new production techniques and obscure jazz and tropicália records that also informed and altered their own aesthetic, which ultimately made them as influential on pop culture of their era as the Beatles were on theirs.
Then there is Yauch, who is missing and missed. Diamond and Horovitz share many stories about their driven, ingeniously experimental brother, and it’s no wonder they haven’t publicly rapped since losing him; they literally did everything together. The fact that the Beasties were a genuine collective comes through on every revelatory, amusing and heartfelt page of Beastie Boys Book. (Spiegel & Grau)