The Beastie Boys: Mike D, Ad-Rock, M.C.A.
In an era when laptop mash-up artists like Girl Talk are praised for the artistry of name-that-tune karaoke DJing, it's even more timely to reissue PAUL'S BOUTIQUE as a 20th Anniversary edition. Admittedly, the repackaging itself is less than revelatory, with final track "B-Boy Bouillabaisse" split up from its original medley (although "A Year And A Day" and "Dropping Names" finally receive their due as breakout singles) (A digi-download card with audio commentary is also included.) But for a generation of younger hip-hop fans casually accustomed to kneejerk sampling and familiar with the Beasties only from "Fight For Your Right" and freeing Tibet, PAUL's giddy psychedelic crate-digging (along with production team the Dust Brothers) will properly blow their minds.
When The Beastie Boys hit platinum with their debut album, they were instantly labeled the Elvises of rap, accused of being just another bunch of white musicians stealing from black music. But what was overlooked was that the Beasties actually had some interesting ideas to take hip hop to new levels. While in the years to come other white rappers like Vanilla Ice and Jesse Jaymes would prove they were the true cultural thieves, the Beasties defended themselves by recording a seminal rap album, PAUL'S BOUTIQUE. The record was, in fact, so legit that it eroded their commercial appeal in middle America.
PAUL'S BOUTIQUE is a sample-fest--a post-modern epic of cut and splice studio wizardry. Taking snippets of music from sources as disparate as Curtis Mayfield, The Beatles, B.D.P., The Ramones and The Jaws soundtrack (as well as countless others), they built songs out of the debris of modern culture. Over these mind-blowing tracks, they weaved tall tales, self-promotional proclamations and sheer non-sense into a singular vision of inspired lunacy. Besides Public Enemy, no one else was producing albums as complex as this. PAUL'S BOUTIQUE sounds two or three years ahead of its time, perhaps this is why the album was considered such a failure upon its release.
Whatever the case, there really is no album that sounds quite like this one does; the Beasties returned to the top of the charts a few years later with CHECK YOUR HEAD, but they may never be able to top the originality and depth of their stunning sophomore effort.
- Format: Vinyl
- Released: 02/10/2009