“Hot Sauce Committee Part 2” arrives seven years after the release of the Beastie Boys‘ last non-instrumental full-length, “To the 5 Boroughs,” although the drought should have only been five years. The veteran rap trio was gearing up to release its next album in 2009 and had lined up headlining sets at festivals like Lollapalooza and All Points West that year, but after Adam “MCA” Yauch revealed that he had a cancerous tumor in his salivary gland, all tour dates were cancelled and the album was pushed back indefinitely.
After staying inactive in 2010 as Yauch recovered, the Beasties are back with a 16-track album full of squelchy beats, tossed-off jokes and on-point rhyming. First single “Make Some Noise” was given an all-star music video that paid homage to the Beasties’ iconic “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)” clip, with Seth Rogen, Danny McBride and Elijah Wood joining in on the fun. The rappers also tapped two talents from opposite ends of the hip-hop spectrum for the album: Nas, whose veteran leadership drives “Too Many Rappers,” and Santigold, the Philadelphia upstart who makes an appearance on “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win.”
How does the rest of “Hot Sauce Committee Part 2” measure up? Here’s our Twitter-length track-by-track review of each song.
You be the judge: What do you think of Beastie Boys’ “Hot Sauce Committee Part 2” album? Tweet us your own review at @billboarddotcom (using hashtag #bbbeasties). The best tweets will be posted on Billboard.com in the coming days.
|1. “Make Some Noise” — Funky keyboards, cowbell, and a “party for the motherf***king right to fight.” The Beasties — and 1992 — are back!|
|2. “Nonstop Disco Powerpack” – A nice, woozy comedown, with echoing vocals and a lack of distinct hooks. Hip-hop for hip-hop’s sake.|
|3. “Ok” – Between “Intergalactic”-esque robo-chorus, distorted rhymes over playful synths. Fun track, but wordplay is too garbled for impact|
|4. “Too Many Rappers” – Nasty Nas gets a nasty beat: trading verses, four MCs “come together like peanut butter and sandwiches.” Delicious.|
|5. “Say It” – Sinister beat creaks forward before unhinged refrain. Placement after “Too Many Rappers” makes this seem underdeveloped.|
|6. “The Bill Harper Collection” – 24-second interlude. It’s fine — but no “5 Piece Chicken Dinner,” y’know?|
|7. “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” – Beasties, meet Santigold and her breezy allure. After esoteric front half, a gorgeous exhalation.|
|8. “Long Burn the Fire” – Classic B-boy funk. MCA & Ad are on-point, but Mike D wins the song by “running wild like rats in the Taco Bell.”|
|9. “Funky Donkey” – At 2 mins, “Donkey” might hold album’s most interesting beat. Steel drums + strolling keys + bombastic breakdown = score.|
|10. “The Larry Routine” – Now THIS is a solid interlude: a fully formed lyrical concept in 31 seconds or less. Don’t skip this one.|
|11. “Tadlock’s Glasses” – Risky track that works. Rappers trudge through the murk, and the hook sounds like it was recorded in outer space.|
|12. “Lee Majors Come Again” – Remember when the Beasties were punk rock? A fast-paced, out-of-place Molotov cocktail that burns bright.|
|13. “Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament” – Sumptuous instrumental track could have been called, “Check out ‘The Mix-Up,’ It’s Really Good, I Swear!”|
|14. “Here’s a Little Something For Ya” – Kinetic cut buried too deep. Love MCA’s offer, “If you’re feeling chilly, I’mma get you a shawl!”|
|15. “Crazy Ass Shit” – Another shining track that seems too short, this one buoyed by child’s chorus singing the hook and tenacious drums.|
|16. “The Lisa Lisa/Full Force Routine” – We end on a 49-second burst of triumphant sonic ideas. Maybe a bridge to “Hot Sauce Committee Pt 1”?|