Beastie Boys: Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

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Posted June 17, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0
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The Beasties usher loud, hard beats into nostalgic-embraced disc honoring golden era rap


The bad boys of Brooklyn are probably the only consistent rap group to come out of the golden era of hip-hop.  And their muse remains uninterrupted, despite a health scare of Adam “MCA” Yauch unveiling a type of cancer in his salivary gland in 2009. It did halt the release of the first installment of Hot Sauce Committee, but Part Two – a two-year old body of work that the band earlier pegged “leftovers” – was still on track for its original release date, despite the failure of launching the first set. Creatively releasing the sequel before the first release is a sneaky, peculiar thing, but it’s one that makes Hot Sauce Committee Part Two so attractive. At first listen, you can understand why the Beastie brats shrugged their shoulders at the disc. It’s loud, full of reverb, the EQ waves are overloaded with brooding bass and will send shockwaves to any stereo system. Uncover some of the album’s exaggerations and loudness and you can hear the band reaching back to the Hot Sauce Committee Part Two high-drama of rap rock, emcee battle-styled freestyle and old-school mixing.  The strength of the Beasties’ rhymes on top of Mike D’s live drums give a riveting nostalgic retreat back to the Beasties’ ‘80’s-early’90’s formula,  The Root-sounding “Make Some Noise,” a Roots-sounding old-school retreat, kicks out classic Run DMC-meets-Doug  E. Fresh energy. The lyrics are strong to form, showing off the rap veterans’  honorary medals  (“I’m like an ornithologist when I get pissed/You must have drank a fizzy-lifting drink and you got lifted/And sifted, I’m just whiffed/And when I catch MCs it’s time for wing-clipping”). When Mike D spits fire out on his opening lines (“A-leggo my Eggo while I flex my ego”), the Beasties are out to prove to newbies that comedy and machismo can work together like magic.

Immediately following the infectious opener, “Nonstop Disco Powerpack” and “Ok” play to the strengths of the Beasties’ teamplay. They take turns like unselfish veteran basketball stars, desperate to penetrate the perimeter with quick passes and last-second dunks.

Nas joins the group on a remix of “Too Many Rappers”, now loaded with Atari synth bleeps and harder on their focus (“1-2-3/Too many rappers and still not enough emcees”). Lyrically the tune exposes their age, but their lines are far from dusty (“How many rappers must get dissed/Gimme eight bars, and watch me bless this/I start to reminisce, oh, when I miss/The real hip hop with which I persist”).

The boys are also adventurous, playing on the outskirts of hip-hop’s modern conventions.  “Say It” plays with their garage rock samplings. “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win,’ with its otherworldly sounds and Fugees’ reggae tempo, gives the threesome a definite standout for radio, even if Santigold’s guest appearance somehow transcends the song beyond their regular conventions. And for those who think the Beasties are too serious with their spunk, “Funky Donkey” is just as playful as “Brass Monkey.”

Still, the elephant in the room –  the obvious vocal distortion on some of the album’s harder cuts vocals. helmed by experimental studio art and the inspiration to stay true to being bad asses – makes it a little hard to appreciate the in-depth philosophies embedded in their lyrics. 

Sometimes the Beasties choose to play with sounds and motifs a la Gorillaz or Broken Bells by creating transitional interludes. The most effective of them all, the instrumental “Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament,” is layered perfectly with hip-hop tempo, electronic whizzes, robotic chatter and MCA’s heavy bass guitar.

The album also ends hastily, like a modern-day horror film pointing towards a silly continuation for the near future, using “The Lisa Lisa-Full Force Routine.” It only makes you wonder if HSC Part 3 is the next in line to appear in the Beasties’ album succession, or maybe Part 1 never really existed.

J MATTHEW COBB

HIFI DETAILS

  • Release Date: 03 May 2011
  • Label: Capitol
  • Producers: Beastie Boys
  • Spin This: “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win,” “Make Some Noise,” “Nonstop Disco Powerpack,” “Too Many Rappers”

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


One Comment


  1.  
    obamarocks

    Everybody go to Youtube. Beyonce and Nicky Minaj are on a remix of her leading single Run the World Girls together. This guy name Fyuchur produced it. Its Hot!!! Both of their fans love it





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