To the 5 Boroughs
our score: 4.5 out of 5.0
it's been six years since the Beasties put out Hello Nasty,
which, for all it was worth, was O.K. During that time, fans patiently
waited to hear what the trio was inventing in their lab this time
around. To be perfectly honest...nothing! While Mike D, Adrock,
and MCA are well known for their forays into funkadelic instrumentals,
rock/punk-infused gender benders, and experimental DJ sets (thanks
to Mix Master Mike), they forgoe all of the afformentioned for
some straight up, old-school, DJ-Mic-M.C. hip-hop. Not
since Paul's Boutique has there been a Beastie Boy album
quite like To the 5 Boroughs.
things off is "Ch-Check It Out", which represents in
full Beastie form with uptempo beats, horn blasts, and easily
understood lyrics. It also happens to be the first single from
the album. "Right Here Right Now" is the first evidence
of the Boys taking on a political agenda that exists throughout
Boroughs ("Columbine bowling, childhood stolen,
we need a bit more gun controlling."and "I'm getting
kind of tired of the situation/the U.S. attacking other nations...")
But then again, what else do three late 30yr olds have to talk
about? The Beasties are above and beyond their young years of
partying, so they use this as an opportunity to raise the hip-hop
community's awareness of what's going on, and personally, I think
that's o.k. We can all choose to agree with them or not, but we
SHOULD think about it. For more details on their opinions, check
out "Time to Build" which is entirely devoted to political
isn't all business, there's plenty of representin' of old-school
rhymin' as well. "3 the Hard Way" samples LL Cool J's
"Radio" for it's base, and the 3 flex their skills on
top. Also in this same vein is "Triple Trouble", which
is the same stuff but over a sample from "Rapper's Delight".
Boroghs doesn't stray far from this forumla, with big programmed
beats, tight hi-hats, and rim shots on top of simple loops ("Oh
Word" being the best example).
pay tribute to the boroughs with "An Open Letter to NYC".
If you aren't from NY, this song doesn't mean much, but it's still
good none-the-less. "Crawlspace" is the low point on
the album. The funky bass doesn't seem to quite fit the beats
and rhymes well, and the refrain break is awkward. But things
back with an "Intergalactic" flashback on "The
Brouhaha". "We Got The" finishes things up with
a reminder that we still have the power to fight for what we believe:
"who got the power to make a difference? who got the power
to make change? who got the power to make a difference? we got
the-we got the-we got the..."
So sit down
(when you don't have the urge to dance), enjoy some old-school
hip-hop, and think about what's goin' on.
liked To the 5 Boroughs...
Ch-Check It Out
2. Right Right Now Now
3. 3 The Hard Way
4. Time To Build
5. Rhyme The Rhyme Well
6. Triple Trouble
7. Hey Fuck You<
8. Oh Word?
9. That's It That's All
10. All Life Styles
12. An Open Letter To NYC
14. The Brouhaha
15. We Got The