Beastie Boys: Personification of Hip Hop

Well, back in the day, when the Beastie Boys first came out, a lot of die-hard Hip Hop Heads didn’t like them. I always did.

They are white, unruly, hilarious and on point. No doubt about any of that.

I guess a lot of people forget that entertainers are entertainers. They put on an act. The better the act, the more entertaining.

We can’t forget the fact that the Beastie Boys are possibly the most innovative and politically relevant and politically active groups in Hip Hop. Nowadays they’re considered legends. They speak on politics, spirituality and a host of relevant social issues.

But they are also the personification of Hip Hop. And I mean that seriously. Every element and character you find in Hip Hop you find encapsulated in the Beastie Boys persona. Or each persona.

King Ad Rock, the joker, the jester, not too much different than Public Enemy’s Flava Flav. I guess it’s no mistake that Rick Rubin was involved in their early career. You have MCA, the thug, outlaw, Gangsta. Then there’s Mike D, the smooth talking, velvet-voice Pimp Mack Daddy.

The group is a composite of what you find everywhere in Hip Hop. The rebellion, the commentary, the aggression, the Hustle, the humor. They got it all.


Typical tale of three desperados, the stuff that makes for legend. Everybody loves an outlaw. Love that backwards beat, the funky scratches, the oddly compelling subject matter. Can’t beat an old school Beastie classic.

By WikiLaurent [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

No doubt they partied hard.

It’s Hip Hop at a different angle, in a slightly different context, but the same thing: Parties, rebellion, the outer fringe of everything.

Over time, the Beasties refined their style, added more funk and eased their way into religious and political issues. They seem to be always endeavoring to innovate and create, in the true spirit of Hip Hop.

Featured Image: By Masao Nakagami ( [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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