Beastie Boys Book: bust out and buy it

I finished the Beastie Boys Book recently. If you’re at all a fan of the group, hip hop history, or 1980s New York City lore, it’s highly recommended. Written with the same energy and verve that boys are famous for (by Michael Diamond AKA Mike D and Adam Horovitz AKA Ad Rock), there’s also a profound reverence and respect paid to the now deceased Adam Yauch (AKA MCA).

I’m in many ways mentioning the book because it’s often flat out, laugh out loud hilarious. For example, there’s a fascinating backstory to the making of Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, the Beastie Boys’ final album, that involves the group creating original music “samples” that are inserted into songs on the “real” album for the purpose of tying those samples to made up songs from fake bands from fake album labels that they could list in the real album’s liner notes. It was done because the band thought it was cool and funny, and so that super fans could dig through the liner notes and speculate about where all of this arcane material was pulled from.

I haven’t laughed so hard as when I read through all of the information about the samples and “fake” backgrounds on all of them. Take, for example, the fake sample from a fake song called “The Coming of the Triumvirate,” which is supposedly pulled from the soundtrack to a fake album called Brutus (the fake cover art of which features a goofy looking dog in a fishing hat). When I first read this, there were multiple table slaps involved. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

This post originally appeared in what had originally been called The Eric Berlin E-mail Newsletter. To get a weekly blast of pop culture, digital media, and politics that helps make sense of an increasingly frazzled world, sign on up for The Berlin Files here.

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