Category Archives: Beastie Boys

Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee, Part Two

Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee, Part Two

4/5

2011

It’s difficult to discuss the Beastie Boys’ eighth album Hot Sauce Committee, Part Two without explaining its title and the circumstances surrounding its recording. Though originally planning to release the first part of the Hot Sauce Committee series, Adam “MCA” Yauch discovered he had cancer in 2009, and the group postponed the recording sessions until after he went into remission. When the Beasties started back up again the following year, they decided to instead focus on the music for their second installment, releasing Part Two in May of 2011. All this confusion gives the impression that Hot Sauce Committee, Part Two is a mess, made up of fragments of recording sessions and songs carefully considered over the course of many years when in fact this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the surprising thing about the record is how tight and colorful it is, how it’s actually their best effort in over a decade.

Touching on the thick grooves of Check Your Head and Ill Communication and the electro workouts that ran though Hello Nasty, Hot Sauce Committee definitely sounds familiar (especially with the 80s references in the lyrics), but it’s not a step backward. Rather, it sounds fresh and vibrant, blending samples in with their own music, deliberately avoiding the simple back-to-basics approach of 2004’s To The 5 Boroughs. Just about every song clicks: “Make Some Noise” rides a wave of funky clavinet; “OK” mutates vocals à la “Intergalactic;” the roaring “Say It” recalls “Sabotage;” Nas and Santigold even drop by for the excellent “Too Many Rappers” and “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win,” respectively. And if you still aren’t convinced of its energy, the second half of the record almost runs as one long suite (sort of like Pauls Boutique‘s epic closer “B-Boy Bouillabaisse”), a burst of quick songs, including the hardcore “Lee Majors Come Again.” But as impressive as the beats and production are, a lot of the energy has to do with the Beastie Boys themselves, who ditch any pretense of concept or commentary here in favor of cracking jokes and ridiculous boasts (“I’m running wild like rats in the Taco Bell!”) with an infectious joy. It all adds up to a non-stop party and some of the Beasties’ most playful and inventive music in years, even if they aren’t necessarily setting any trends in the rap world. The lack of a clear single also furthers the idea that the group is simply enjoying what they do without worrying about commercial success. When many of their golden age peers have since become reality TV stars or family movie actors, that the Beastie Boys are still churning out music this satisfying after over 25 years is a testament to their greatness.

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