It seems that the Beastie Boys have been enjoying a new wave of critical appreciation in the past few months, for both good and bad reasons. The good being the reappraisal of their classic material brought about by the remastered rereleases of Ill Communication, Paul’s Boutique and Check Your Head, and the anticipation for their release of Hot Sauce Committee which was due September 15th, but has since been delayed thanks to the bad reason – the diagnosis of MCA’s throat cancer.
Most importantly, it looks like he’s going to be fine and we’ll hopefully be able to get our hands on that new album in the not too distant future. The revelation has also focused the appreciation of the Beasties backcatalogue and their undeniable influence on pop music. It’s not hard to draw a line of influence from the beautiful collage of samples that is Paul’s Boutique to DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing, the output of Girl Talk and, on a wider level, the remix and mash-up culture that has proliferated along with the internet and blogs such as this. Regardless of what you think about their music, they’re one of those big influential acts whose legacy will reverberate long after they’re gone, which hopefully won’t be for a while yet.
The tributes haven’t just been coming in critical circles, either. Just last week at the All Points West festival – another American festival that shows up our own, in terms of line-up at least. A two year old, three stage, medium sized festival with Coldplay, Jay-Z, Tool, and a sizeable collection of Hip Hop artists, damn – we had a couple of kind hearted covers as a way of tribute.
First was a rather well-intentioned, if a little bland and white, cover of Fight For Your Right by the prime purveyors of white, bland rock music, Coldplay.
And then a little more impassioned effort from Jay-Z with No Sleep Til’ Brooklyn, complete with exciting countdown and everything.
On a lesser, and perhaps, less relevant note, they’re also up for a VMA for the superb Sabotage video in the Best Video (To never win a VMA) category.
All much deserved. Get well soon MCA.