Formed 1981 in New York City, Beastie Boys are arguably the single longest lived hip-hop act to consistently enjoy commercial and critical success both on record and as an international live attraction. Beastie Boys first changed the course of popular music when their 1986 debut album Licensed To Ill was the first hip hop record to reach #1. Since then, Mike “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “MCA” Yauch, and Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz have logged 40 million in record sales, three Grammy awards, the MTV Video Vanguard Lifetime Achievement award, four #1 albums, and countless sold out world tours, magazine covers and TV appearances.
Beastie Boys’ musical history is as rich as it is varied: By 1982, the band was releasing the Pollywog Stew EP and playing its first public gigs opening for the likes of Bad Brains at storied NYC venues including CBGB, A7 and Max’s Kansas City. The current Mike D/MCA/Adrock Beastie Boys lineup debuted in 1983 with the “Cooky Puss” 12”, after which the band first hooked up with Rick Rubin for 1984’s “Rock Hard”/”Beastie Groove” 12,” the second ever record released by Def Jam. The next year saw the release of a few more Def Jam 12”s as the band supporting Madonna on the entire North American Virgin Tour.
Licensed To Ill dropped in fall 1986. Fueled by “Fight For Your Right,” “No Sleep Til Brooklyn,” “Brass Monkey” and more it remained at #1 for seven weeks and simultaneously reached #2 on the urban chart, becoming the fastest selling debut to date for Columbia and the first hip hop record to break 5 million sales.
1989’s landmark Paul’s Boutique saw Beastie Boys resurface with a new deal (Capitol), a new home (Los Angeles) and a kaleidoscopic new array of sounds. Produced by Beastie Boys and the Dust Brothers, Paul’s Boutique laid down the blueprint for a generation of emergent genres. “Shake Your Rump,” “Lookin’ Down The Barrel Of A Gun,” “Car Thief,” Shadrach,” and the hip hop “suite” “B-Boy Bouillabaisse” elevated Beastie Boys to a new level of critical respect: thumbs up from Robert Christgau, four stars from Rolling Stone, and various accolades hailing it as the “Pet Sounds or Dark Side Of The Moon of Hip Hop.”
Check Your Head, released in 1992, heralded the return of live instrumentation into the B Boys mix, with Mike D on drums, Yauch on bass and Adrock on guitar. Produced by the band and Mario Caldato Jr. and recorded at Beastie Boys’ own G-Son studios, Check Your Head would yield new B Boys staples including “So Whatcha’ Want,” “Pass The Mic,” “Gratitude” and “Jimmy James.” With the assistance of Keyboard Money Mark, Beastie Boys returned to the touring circuit and Check Your Head hit double platinum.
In the summer of 1994, Ill Communication, also produced by the band and Mario Caldato Jr., entered the charts at #1 as the album’s first video, “Sabotage,” directed by Spike Jonze, became an instant classic. Royalties from two songs on Ill Communication were donated to found the Milarepa Fund, which staged the Tibetan Freedom Concert series. Drawing crowds well into the hundreds of thousands and featuring performances from U2, Radiohead, Beck, Bjork, Patti Smith, Fugees, Joe Strummer, Pearl Jam, John Lee Hooker, Foo Fighters, R.E.M., A Tribe Called Quest, Yoko Ono, Sonic Youth and many more, the Tibetan Freedom Concerts would rank among the most significant benefit concerts of the ‘90s. Meanwhile, Ill Communication was supported by Beastie Boys’ first arena headline tour since the ’80s: The Quadraphonic Joystick Action tour, which sold out NYC’s Madison Square Garden and Chicago’s Rosemont Horizon in half an hour each, Massachusetts’ Worcester Centrum in approximately 20 minutes, and Detroit’s Cobo Arena in nine. One dollar from each ticket sold on the tour was donated through Milarepa to local charities in each city on the tour.
Hello Nasty was released July 1998 and, spurred by the monster success of “Intergalactic,” clocked first week sales of nearly 700,000 in the U.S. and debuted at #1 in England, Germany, Australia, Holland, New Zealand and Sweden, #2 in Canada and Japan, and Top 10 in Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium, Finland, France and Israel. That same month, Beastie Boys’ 360-degree In The Round tour would be unveiled, its turntable stage set offering unobstructed sightlines from every seat, while a specially designed circular P.A. gave new dimension to the term “Surround Sound.” Beastie Boys rounded out 1998 by accepting the Video Vanguard honor at the MTV Video Music Awards, and rang in 1999 with Artist, Band and/or Record of the Year accolades from Rolling Stone, SPIN, The New Yorker and Playboy, among others. A month later, at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards, the quadruple-platinum Hello Nasty took Best Alternative Music Performance, while “Intergalactic,” nailed Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group–the first time an artist would win in both Rap and Alternative categories.
In the wake of September 11, 2001 the Beastie Boys-headlined New Yorkers Against Violence benefit was staged October 28 & 29 at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, with proceeds disbursed to the New York Women’s Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Association for New Americans (NYANA) September 11th Fund for New Americans–both chosen for their efforts on behalf of those affected by the September 11th attacks least likely to receive help from other sources. The NYAV line-up included the Strokes, the B-52’s, Mos Def, N*E*R*D, the Roots, Afrika Bambaata, a surprise two-song set by Moby and Michael Stipe (featuring an impromptu cameo by Bono), and more. Not long after, Beastie Boys added their voice to the growing protest against America’s imminent course toward war, offering the track “In A World Gone Mad” as a free download on Beastieboys.com, moveon.org, winwithoutwarUS.org, MTV.com, and milarepa.org.
Beastie Boys’ sixth studio album, To The 5 Boroughs, released in summer 2004, was the band’s third consecutive #1 debut-and Rolling Stone’s only 5-star review of that year. To The 5 Boroughs was supported by the Challah At Your Boy traveling pageant–which climaxed with a sold-out October 9 homecoming at Madison Square Garden, at which cameras were distributed to 50 audience members, whose efforts (and herculean editing sessions) spawned the feature-length AWESOME; I F—-N’ SHOT THAT!, which debuted at Sundance in early 2006 and was released theatrically the same year.
With 2007’s Grammy winning all-instrumental The Mix-Up, Beastie Boys threw fans a curveball reminder of the one constant throughout the band’s 29-year-and-counting career: reinvention. The Mix-Up featured Diamond, Horovitz and Yauch back on drums, guitar and bass, with Keyboard Money Mark and percussionist Alfredo Ortiz, on Beastie Boys’ first ever full length offering of all-new, all-original instrumental recordings. Reminiscent of the cult hit The In Sound From Way Out! which compiled Check Your Head/Ill Communication era instrumentals, The Mix-Up found NYC’s favorite sons drawing on one of their arsenal’s primary strengths and pushing it into bold new directions.
Since then, Beastie Boys have recorded and prepped for release their long awaited eighth all new studio opus, Hot Sauce Committee Part 1. Following a headlining set at 2009’s Bonnaroo festival during which the record’s “Too Many Rappers” was premiered live with guest star Nas, the record’s release was unexpectedly delayed by Yauch’s surgery and treatment for parotid gland cancer. Like the record, the band’s sold out debut headlining stand at the Hollywood Bowl had to be postponed, as did appearances atop the 2009 Lollapalooza and All Points West festivals. It is the most sincere hope of all in the B Boys camp that Hot Sauce Committee Part 1, which features soon to be classics “B-Boys In The Cut,” “Make Some Noise,” “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win (featuring Santigold)” and more, will be released in 2011.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ballots are sent to more than 500 voters, who will select those to be inducted at the 26th Annual Induction Ceremony. To be eligible for nomination, an act must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. The 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees will be announced in December 2010 and the Ceremony will take place on March 14, 2011 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, and will be televised live on Fuse. All inductees are ultimately represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland OH, the nonprofit organization that exists to educate its audiences on the global impact of the rock and roll art form via the museum, as well as its education programs and library and archives.