Music genres are a confusing matter. Especially in the modern music industry, lines between genres are perpetually blurred. Is Taylor Swift country or is she pop? Is this new Alicia Keys’ song considered R&B, or does it start to flirt with that hybrid genre of pop-soul? Either way, it has become clear that genres aren’t as simple as they once were.
And who can we thank for this blurring of genre lines? The Beastie Boys, for one. The Beastie Boys weren’t the most prolific music group to ever make their mark on the industry, only releasing seven albums over the course of 25 years, but their determination to rewrite the rules of music can still be heard on the radio every day.
So, what do you need to know about the Beastie Boys? For most of their career, they existed as a trio of MCs: MCA, Mike D, and Ad-Rock. But that wasn’t how they began. In 1981, the Beastie Boys made their first appearance as a four man hardcore punk band, not quite they style of music they’re known for. In 1984, they launched their hip-hop career by releasing twelve singles and changing the hip-hop industry for good.
MCA’s love for hardcore punk led to a discovery that rock music and hip-hop could exist harmoniously, as well as other genres they discovered when they began to incorporate jazz into their music. The Beastie Boys held onto the old hip-hop sound as the rest of the music world began to conform to the pop style of the radio. Their music did more than trailblaze the way for rising artists; it preserved the sound that was being left behind as the times changed.
So, his week, put down that Kanye album and pause that Cee Lo Green track. Listen to some Beastie Boys for a bit, after all, they helped inspire some of our greatest musical artists to date.