Beastie Boys – Ill Communication
The Beastie Boys’ 1994 album Ill Communication is OUT THERE. It’s not a rap album, it’s not a rock album, it’s not a funk album, nor is it a jazz album; It’s a strange and brilliant combination of all the above. The only descriptor one can truly agree upon is that it’s a Beastie Boys album. In their fourth full-length release, the New York trio honors their punk roots while simultaneously paying homage to all who influenced them to date. You have the opener “Sure Shot,” which is a fairly standard rap offering, go straight into the full-blown Hardcore “Tough Guy.” It’s a stark juxtaposition that continues throughout the remaining 50+ minutes of the album, with the Beastie’s, who largely eschewed samples for live instruments, exploring, experimenting, and frankly, just being themselves.
One of the many things I love about this album is how it doesn’t play it safe. It takes you on a wild journey through a world of musical genres and it doesn’t care if you get whiplash along the way. And the single, Sabotage… That song (and its accompanying video) reminds me of so many good times, which include once trying to recreate the video’s iconic over-the-hill car jump, perfectly timed to that song, in a crappy hatchback. Ill Communication is an album that at times warrants cranking the volume and at others chilling out at a more mellow level. Every minute is well worth your time and it’s a must in any album collection.