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Licensed to Ill

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Linking timeless Zeppelin and Sabbath riffs to heavy-bottomed funk with hook-savvy producer Rick Rubin, the Beastie Boys made party music of a (no pun) high order. “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” displayed an understanding of metal, while “Paul Revere”, “Time to Get Ill” and “Hold It, Now Hit It” swung and bounced furiously. With over 10 million copies in American households along, and the album still selling today, Licensed to Ill is anything but a nostalgia platter.


Formed: 1979 in New York, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As the first white rap group of any importance, the Beastie Boys received the scorn of critics and strident hip-hop musicians, both of whom accused them of cultural pirating, especially since they began as a hardcore punk group in 1981. But the Beasties weren't pirating -- instead, they treated rap as part of a post-punk musical underground, where the D.I.Y. aesthetics of hip-hop and punk weren't that far apart. Of course, the exaggerated b-boy and frat-boy parodies of their unexpected hit debut...
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