MCA, Mike D and Ad-Rock are three names that have been in my vocabulary for almost as long as I can remember, and rightfully so. The Beastie Boys have been a staple in Hip Hop for many years reaching fans from all genres with their witty rhymes, unparalleled production and sometimes, as of more recent, politically charged raps. For Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2, their eighth studio release, we find the Beastie Boys coming back to their roots with more party driving cuts than their past couple studio releases.
Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 went through a few different phases before its actual release on May 3rd, first the album was originally given the working title of Tadlock’s Glasses, then was set to drop on September 15th 2009 under the title Hot Sauce Committee Pt.1 but due to MCA’s battle with a cancerous parotid gland as well as lymph node surgery coupled with radiation therapy the album’s release and tour was postponed. On October 17th 2010 the Beastie Boys released this statement via email:
“Although we regret to inform you that Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 1 will continue to be delayed indefinitely, Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 will be released on time as originally planned in spring of 2011.”
Then the following week they clarified that Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 would be released with the original tracklisting as Pt. 1 with the exception of “Bundt Cake”. From the research I have done I believe that the Beastie Boys will in fact release Pt. 1 at some time with new music but it is still to be determined when and what the tracks will be.
After releasing the first and second singles, “Lee Majors Come Again” and “Too Many Rappers” featuring Nas in 2009, the Beastie Boys waited until April 11th 2011 to release the third and final single, “Make Some Noise”, before dropping Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 on May 3rd.
After listening to Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 a couple times I decided I owe it to the Beastie Boys to give them a track-by-track review of the album, after all they have given me many years of dope music and some pretty crazy memories that had Beastie Boys songs as the soundtrack.
“Make Some Noise” starts Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 with a bang and sets the mood just right for what the album has to offer. This track is the one that really gave me the feeling that the Beastie Boys were back to where they came from. Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA all bring their A-game when it comes to these party rhymes. Lyrically, this is the perfect example of why I have been a fan for so many years. The production for this track is reminiscent of the production I enjoyed off of Ill Communication. If I were in High School or in my early 20’s this is one of those cuts that would be bangin’ out of the speakers at most of the house parties of the summer. Definitely a crowd pleaser and should be enjoyed by all Beastie Boys fans across their wide fan spectrum.
When the drums and bass line start on “Nonstop Disco Powerpack” you realize that this album is way more than just the singles the Beastie Boys released. So many artists release their best cuts as singles and then when you buy the album you find out that the rest of the joint is garbage, not the Beastie Boys. If I had never heard of the Beastie Boys and “Nonstop Disco Powerpack” was my introduction to their music I would be impressed with their demeanor on the mic and once again with their production and use of live instruments. Although I personally think they may have over done it with the effects on the vocals which makes the joint confusing in some parts and at the same time makes you listen to this particular cut a few times to absorb all the lyrics. A gift and a curse? Either way track number two is a winner in my book and compliments the overall feeling of Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 very well.
For “OK” the Beastie Boys stepped their production up yet another notch and reassure you once again that they put a lot of work into the production of this album to make sure it lived up to the standard fans have come to expect from them. I really dig the mix of samples and live music they have put together so far in this album, it is very refreshing compared to what most mainstream Hip Hop is composed of. Lyrically “OK” doesn’t stand out from the previous tracks, as a matter of fact they are pretty simple and random rhymes that just sound good with the production. Honestly, I would almost prefer “OK” as an instrumental as opposed to with the lyrics.
“Too Many Rappers” featuring Nas is actually one of my favorite cuts on Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2. I was a little leery of the collaboration at first but it worked out very well for both the Beastie Boys and Nas. I can’t tell you enough how well the production is on this album, “Too Many Rappers” just starts out dope and I had to listen to the song a few times over because I got stuck on the drums and samples the first couple times and didn’t pay too much attention to the rhymes. Once again the rhymes are fairly simple but in this case they are focused and let you know that there are entirely too many rappers out there making some terrible music. The Beastie Boys and Nas don’t call any emcees out individually but let it be known that they have been doing this for a while and demand respect.
Already four tracks in and when “Say It” begins with some fresh guitar (sample?) and then the drums come in, I feel my head once again nodding. Then the joint takes a turn for the harder! I absolutely love “Say It”! As a fan of Hip Hop, old school Punk and the Underground Alternative Rock of the early to mid 90’s, this joint hits almost all of the musical senses I have and actually makes me feel like getting into a bar fight! The adrenaline filled rhymes add to this feeling, I can picture this song in a movie where the weakling hero that has been picked on all his life finally comes into his own and goes ape on all those that picked on him. Very dope track! Even if you are not feeling this cut the last 20 seconds will have your head nodding for sure.
Track six is a waste of album space! “The Bill Harper Collection” is just a 24 second interlude that I could really do without.
Now on to “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” featuring Santigold. For the record, I have never been a fan of Santigold so it came to a complete shock to me that I really liked this record. Lyrically this is one of the more solid tracks on the album even though the theme of the song is once again how the Beastie Boys are better than most. Santigolds contribution to “Don’t Play No Game I Can’t Win” is flawless. At first listen without looking I actually thought it was M.I.A on the track so once again, I was surprised that I was feeling Santigold. Another score in the win column for production. With distinctive reggae/dub feel to this joint I, once again, caught myself nodding my head. Bass lines are on point and the horns are super ill.
Ad-Rock’s verse on “Long Burn The Fire” makes this cut a candidate for my favorite track of the album. With lines like “I’ll make you sick like a Kenny Rodgers roaster” and “I’m like a tampon cause I got the pink soda” and lastly “The proof is in the pudding and the pudding’s in my pants” these rhymes display what I know the Beastie Boys are capable of bringing to the table, however what does a tampon and pink soda have to do with each other? Mike D and MCA also came correct with their rhymes, all three painted them on the fresh canvas they laid down with the production once again. Heavy, hard hitting bass and some real dope samples combined with some super fresh drums and some chiller sounding keys, at this point in the album I am convinced the Beastie Boys should get some producer award for this whole album. Mixmaster Mike’s contribution to this point hasn’t really stood out but his presence is felt in “Long Burn The Fire”.
“Funky Donkey” is definitely a fun track! This cut sounds like a mix of George Clinton x Afrika Bambaataa x Devo + Beastie Boys. And that pretty much sums up “Funky Donkey”! Not the greatest track on the album and not the worst, just a fun song to play in the car with your kids and just appreciate the fun side of the Beastie Boys.
Another wasted 30 seconds of dope production is what I call “The Larry Routine”. Although it does have roots and Beastie Boys fans will all get a chuckle out of it! I wish they would have saved that beat for a full song. Check out the lyrics:
This routine dates way back
A lot of people may remember this routine
but it’s evolved, now
Yeah from the summer before last
Well my name’s Mike D and I got a new name
And that new name is – LARRY!!
Well my name is Ad Rock, and then I got a new name
And my new name is – HARRY!!
Well my name is MCA, but I got a new name
And that new name is – GARY!!
Well my DJ’s name, it stayed the same
Cause his new name is – BARRY!!
If I really wanted to piss off my neighbors I would play “Tadlock’s Glasses” as loud as possible and watch the whole block shake. I first heard this song via the leak that went around before the album dropped from some radio show, trust me that leak did not do the track justice at all. For best results listen through Beats By Dre headphones. Although “Tadlock’s Glasses” is a relatively short track at just 02:19, it packs a lot of punch both production wise and lyrically. My only complaint is the amount of effects used on voices. I do like it to a certain extend but it is a little overkill on this cut.
When I got to “Lee Majors Come Again” I got the goose bumps! I was reminded of Polywog Stew and the Beastie Boys Punk roots. The sound of this joint is the sound I wish Punk music would have gone as opposed to the “Pop-Punk” we have today, I know there are still groups out there making that good old school Punk Rock but for the most part, you know what I’m saying! I love the way all the elements of this track come together to make such a unique song. “Lee Majors Come Again” is another candidate for my favorite track off of Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2.
The Beastie Boys have always impressed me with their instrumental cuts on their past albums and “Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament” is no different. A true example of the musical creativity and knowledge, this track really demonstrates how talented Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock really are. The Beastie Boys are one of the most musically unique Hip Hop groups to this day and they never compromise their style for what’s “in” at the time. I would have liked this track back when they dropped Paul’s Boutique just as much as I like it now.
Now back to rapping in true Beastie Boys fashion! “Here’s A Little Something for Ya” is back to that classic Beastie Boys feeling you got when you first heard Ill Communication or Check Your Head, but now with a 2011 feeling, like they stepped out the booth after recording “Pass The Mic” jumped into a time machine to 2011 got caught up on technology real quick and hopped back in the booth to record this track. The production once again surpasses what most would consider dope and yet still gives you that same Beastie Boys feeling right from the jump-off cow bells followed by the futuristic bass lines. Two minutes into the track they switch up the beat for twenty seconds, those twenty seconds are sure to be sampled for a long time. The rhymes on this cut are vintage Beastie Boy lines, simple, a little rough but altogether fresh.
By the time I got to “Crazy Ass Shit” I personally didn’t care if the last two tracks were terrible, I had been down a dope trip on memory lane and heard some pretty good Beastie Boys rhymes and some outstanding Beastie Boys production. They did not just put “Crazy Ass Shit” on Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 for a filler song. This short but sweet track is just as dope as “Make Some Noise”. From the sample of a kid saying “On and on till the break of dawn” to the dope drums, I almost think they are sampled and live drums in different parts of the track, I am no producer though so I could be wrong. Lyrically this is another track where you have to listen a few times because you are too interested in the production at first to pay attention to what is being said. When you do pay attention you realize that once again the lyrical content is lacking, which for the most part is on par for the course with this album.
At first listen “The Lisa Lisa/Full Force Routine” wasn’t much to speak of. After a few more listens this was a good way to end the album on a high note and leave the listener wanting more. I know it left me wanting more. The track is only forty-nine seconds with half of that being really dope instrumental with one verse at the end and a “New York City” to cap it off.
I am aware that there are a total of four bonus tracks with this album however I just reviewed the meat and potatoes or the nuts and bolts if you’re a vegetarian. The bonus tracks are “Pop Your Balloon”, “B-Boys in the Cut” and “Make Some Noise (Passion Pit Remix),” which was a pre-order bonus download. There is also the Japan bonus track which is a Cornelius remix of “Make Some Noise”.
I have to admit that I was never that impressed with Hello Nasty or To The 5 Boroughs so I did not have high hopes for Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2, maybe that is why I think it is as dope as I think it is, because I didn’t have those high expectations. All in all this album will fit right in with the classic Beastie Boys material we all love and still enjoy from time to time. I am happy for a younger generation that may be first time listeners that they have Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 as their gateway to explore the Beastie Boys catalogue. As I have gotten older I also enjoy a little more lyrical content in my Hip Hop but then I realized that I don’t need lyrical content from the Beastie Boys, I need the Beastie Boys to just be the Beastie Boys. What Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 did for me was take me back to just being a fan of Hip Hop and not read into it so much, for that I am forever grateful to the Beastie Boys.
[easyreview title=”Word Is Bond Rating” cat1title=”Lyrics” cat1detail=”At first I was a little disappointed with the lyrics, then I remembered that I am listening to the Beastie Boys.” cat1rating=”3″ cat2title=”Production” cat2detail=”Superior production, easily the best part of this album.” cat2rating=”4.5″ cat3title=”Originality” cat3detail=”The Beastie Boys are the kings of this category.” cat3rating=”4.5″ cat4title=”Replayability” cat4detail=”This is one I like and will come back to from time to time but more so as a Saturday night party album than a listening session album.” cat4rating=”3″ summary=”Great album for die hard Beastie Boys fans and the newcomer alike.”]