Beastie Boys (Hip-Hop Stars) by Dennis Abrams

By Dennis Abrams

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Madonna was about to start her first tour and needed an opening act. According to MCA, Madonna contacted Russell Simmons to ask whether the Fat Boys—a popular hip-hop trio whose best-known member, Buffy the Human Beatbox, is credited with pioneering beatboxing—were available. Simmons didn’t manage the Fat Boys, but rather than admit that, he told Madonna that they were already booked. He then offered her Run-DMC, but they were too expensive for the pop star. So Simmons offered her a good deal on the Beastie Boys, and she accepted.

Licensed to Ill They worked on their album throughout 1986. Songs were written on the tour bus and in the studio. Initially, they were in no hurry to finish, but with the success of “Hold It Now, Hit It,” pressure began to come from Columbia/CBS Records, which distributed records for Def Jam. They felt that since they now had a hit single, a new album should come out as soon as possible. Recording the album was more relaxed than one might imagine. The boys spent the night dancing and partying at clubs like Danceteria and Area.

As Mike D said in 1994, as quoted in the book Paul’s Boutique, “We’d be like going into this bummy studio [while making Licensed to Ill] at two in the morning. And then all of a sudden we were here, going into these fancy studios where you pay like $15,000 a day. And we’d just go in there and play Ping-Pong. ” reception to Paul’s Boutique Finally, after nearly a year and half of work, the album was released on July 25, 1989. The reviews were amazing. ” The Washington Post praised the group’s artistic growth since Licensed to Ill.

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