Over the years, The Beastie Boys have proven themselves to be the greatest rap group. You can say what you want about these guys, and even cry like Smashing Pumpkins fans over that first remark, but no other rap group has had the same success as the B-Boys. After all, they were the first rap group to hit No. 1 on the album charts with License to Ill, and now, ten years later, they are No. l again with their latest offering, Hello, Nasty. They also were the first to buck the trend of relying solely on samples when they started playing instruments on their groundbreaking album Check Your Head. No other rap group can boast the same credentials — most rap groups that started out at the same time are not even around today.
But the question remains: how good is Hello Nasty? 1 do not think it is as good as Check Your Head, but it is extremely hard to copy something as groundbreaking as that. Hello Nasty does, however, continue the B-boys tradition of old school hip-hop and their ability to experiment with different styles that no other rap group comes even close to doing. “Song for Junior” and “Picture This” are two excellent tracks that have that nice jazzy lounge feel, while “Song for the Man” and “And Me” flow along on the psychedelic trip. “I Don’t Know” is another groovy tune that will stick with you for a while. These songs stand out for me because they represent territories never before explored by the B-boys, and they pull it off beautifully. The rest of the album is pure B-boys, showcasing their enormous talent for getting that perfect riff or obscure sample. The only disappointment was “Dr. Lee, PhD. ” I am a fan of Lee “Scratch” Perry’s (who lends his vocal talents), but for some reason, they miss it on this one.