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Published: 2011/06/07
by Ron Hart

Beastie Boys
Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
Oscilloscope Laboratories/Brooklyn Dust Music/Capitol

From their humble beginnings as a snotty teenage punk band barely breaking even on Ratcage Records on through to their present role as senior senseis of real hip-hop, Beastie Boys have experienced the ride of a lifetime over the course of these last 30 years they have been doing their thing.

And after a predominantly unremarkable decade with one ho-hum “return to rap” album in 2004’s To The 5 Boroughs, Ad Rock, Mike D and MCA come correct on the triumphant Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. Emerging from the perils of an Adam Yauch cancer scare that saw the record get shelved upon its initial intended release in 2009, this sequel of sorts definitely has a little mold damage from its two years in flux, particularly evident upon listening to the Santigold-assisted “No Game That I Can’t Win”. But on the overall, Hot Sauce is definitely their strongest work rap-wise since Ill Communication, loaded with Check Your Head -esque live instrumentation, distorted microphone magic, crate-deep samples from such scholarly obscurities as Pump, Plastic Revolution and Pretty Ron and the Love Boat Crew, kitschy references galore to everything from Kenny Rogers Roasters to Ted Danson to the Lambada and a long overdue return to the pass-the-mic battle rhyme style that punctuated such early classics as Licensed to Ill and Paul’s Boutique.

Just peep how MCA delivers a silencer hit to Will.I.Am on the Nas team-up “Too Many Rappers” when he warns him, “Cause this the type of lyric goes inside your brain/
To blow you bullshit rappers straight out the frame/My lyrics spin round like a hurricane twister/So get your hologram on off of Wolf Blitzer!” Meanwhile, on the Moog-enriched first single “Make Some Noise”, Ad Rock dispenses one of his best zingers yet: “I fly like a hawk, or better yet an eagle/A seagull, I sniff suckers out like a beagle.” Even the team’s lyrical handicap Mike D. brings the pain here, particularly on “Nonstop Disco Power Pack” when he blasts out the gate with this line: “See I mix my style up like a cement mixer/Smooth’ll fix ya like a rhyme elixir/Hey yo yo soundman, make Mike’s mic louder/Don’t make me sound cheap like a box of douche powder.” The fellas also return to their hardcore roots for the first time since 1995’s Aglio E Oglio EP on “Lee Majors Come Again” and drop a little deep rock knowledge with “Tadlock’s Glasses”, the title of which references a gift given to Elvis Presley’s bus driver from the King himself. Additionally, its great to hear these guys cussing up a storm again as they do all over this MOFO. Too much time has passed since we last heard these cats dropping F-bombs like they just don’t care.

To be perfectly honest, it would have been cool if they threw a couple of more instrumental joints on here, especially considering how much fun they seem to be having with vintage synths on the sole non-vocal Hot Sauce track in the Gorgio Moroder-meets-John Carpenter workout “Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament”. But at this stage of the game, it’s just great to hear these three old hip-hop wise men still have the vocab to spit fire with more fury than a frenzy of MCs half their age. If this is the sound of Grandpa rapping, somebody better keep these cats away from the Cialis.

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