A history of the Beastie Boys as hip hop turns 50 this year

10 August 2023

One for fans of erstwhile New York City hip hop act, the Beastie Boys, a write up from 2015 by Don Condon, music editor at Double J.

As well as being one of the world’s great hip hop groups, the Beastie Boys’ evolution also happens to be one of the scene’s most fascinating.

As well as bringing hip hop to a wider mainstream audience, the Beasties can also be credited for opening up the genre’s horizons, fusing in everything from alt-rock and sample-based psychedelics to punk ferocity.

And they did all with a sense of adventure, fun, and camaraderie.

So, how did a bunch of white kids playing ramshackle hardcore find themselves at the forefront of a cultural revolution?

And tomorrow, Friday 11 August, is a red-letter day for fans of the genre, being the fiftieth birthday of hip hop, which emerged at a party in NYC borough, The Bronx, on Saturday 11 August 1973.

Happy birthday hip hop.


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