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CD review: The Beastie Boys’ ‘Hot Sauce Committe Part Two’

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The Beastie Boys are back with one of their best CDs in years, ‘Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.’
Ben Westhoff

The Details

The Beastie Boys
Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
four stars

No one wants the Beastie Boys to grow up. Thankfully, though the group members are now in their mid-40s and MCA is recovering from cancer, new album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is youthfully giddy. Unlike previous non-instrumental album To the 5 Boroughs, it manages to update the group’s sound without veering too far away from its beloved, early-’90s approach.

It’s largely a pastiche, culling from old-school rap and non-rap artists alike, and is as likely to shout out Bob Dylan as Afrika Bambaataa. Sonically, it straddles a line between commercial and arty; there are moments of radio pop, punk and even noise rock, with a plethora of obscure samples holding the whole thing together. The guys are not as hilarious as they once were (that’s a nice way of saying they’re less obnoxious), but they still get off some memorable lines. “Can’t tell me nothing/ Can’t tell me nada,” rhymes Ad-Rock on standout single “Make Some Noise,” “Don’t quote me now because I’m doing the lambada.” The Santigold-assisted “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” is another highlight, and it says a lot that the Jamaican ska-influenced cut doesn’t sound out of place next to “Too Many Rappers,” a battle-ready track featuring Nas. Dense, fun and satisfying with repeated spins, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two seems likely to send the Beasties into a rewarding next phase. A middle-aged rap renaissance—who could have guessed?

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