Monday, October 1, 2012

Underrated Classic - Beastie Boys "To the 5 Boroughs"

A group like Beastie Boys could only come from a place like New York City. Starting off as a hardcore and punk band then going into rap and mixing rock, reggae, dub, jazz and funk together, the Beastie Boys were like the Big Apple itself - A melting pot. On the band's 2004 sixth record, To the 5 Boroughs, the Beasties paid tribute to the city that gave them life and put them together. It is also hard to imagine that it would be one of the groups final records before the passing of Adam "MCA" Yauch this past Spring. To the 5 Boroughs is a lyrical document about living in a pre and post 9/11 New York City, as said in the brilliant song, "An Open Letter to NYC." While the album received mixed reviews when it was initially released, now, years later we can go back and hear the brilliance and "throw back" to old-school hip-hop, b-boy style that helped bring the genre up in the 1980's. With songs like "Rhyme the Rhyme Well," "Triple Trouble" and "Hey Fuck You," Beastie Boys were giving fans a whole new spin on the game and making sure they understood where hip-hop came from. In an era where many look to rap about cash, girls and cars, Beastie Boys stripped their album of all of that nonsense and took it to the streets of New York City.