Listen to this track by three-cornered rap-rock pioneers from New York City, Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz, Adam “MCA” Yauch, and Mike “Mike D” Diamond; Beastie Boys. It’s “Sabotage”, a single as taken from their 1994 record Ill Communication. By this time in their career, their reputation preceded them, and this record debuted at number one.
By this time in the early to mid-90s as well, they had branched out stylistically speaking, including a wide range of musical styles. This included playing live instruments along with samplers, matching a rock arrangement with rap delivery. This would spawn a number of lesser (to say the least) imitators during the decade. That wasn’t pretty. But, the Beasties showed how versatile they were as a unit, doing what most bands who dealt in alternative rock and hip hop could not do; bring out the strengths of both of those musical poles without betraying one for the other.
But a deciding factor as far as the audience was concerned how they were able to hook into an emerging phenomenon in the 1990s; the rise of the “alternative” tag. Read more