Still Ill: 25 Years of ‘Ill Communication’ by the Beastie Boys | Amazon Music

Still Ill: 25 Years of ‘Ill Communication’ by the Beastie Boys | Amazon Music

[MUSIC PLAYING] That song was just a baseline. [THEME – BEASTIE BOYS,
“SABOTAGE”] I think everyone had just left the room and Yauch
stayed and continued working. He’s like, what song is that? I don’t know, I just made it up. Then Mike came around
the corner, and I– what’s going on? And I go, you’re
rock it there dude. Get in there, just play along. He went in on the drums
and, bum bum bum bum. It sounded really cool. Michael is like
[BEEP] sounds cool. So then Mark started playing. I started playing. And then kid came in and just
started noodling on one note. It was the only song really,
that we recorded in a day. Like just the
instrumental track. And boom, we’re like
that [BEEP] sounds cool. I go– [BLEEP] I think
it’s going to work man. That was it. It was done. [THEME – BEASTIE BOYS,
“SABOTAGE”] I can’t stand it I know you planned it, I’mma set it straight,
this Watergate I can’t stand rockin’
when I’m in here ’cause your crystal ball
ain’t so crystal clear, So while you sit
back and wonder why, I got this– [AIRPLANE LANDING] Hell yeah. Oh my god. Hi. Where do we go? This way? That way? Michael Diamond and
Adam Horowitz people. [CLAPPING] Everything lead
up to one another. Like Paul’s Boutique. We move out to California. We work with The Dust Brothers. We get away from Def Jam and
all of our friends, or people that we thought were
our friends in New York, because they didn’t pay us,
so it turns out maybe they weren’t our friends. That was a pretty wild time. They’re you know, high in their
success and enjoying life. Coming out to Cali. [THEME – BEASTIE BOYS, “HEY
LADIES”] They rented a house up the hill. Some director’s house that the
three of them were staying at. We’re 20 whatever years old. We’re in L.A. driving cars. It’s kind of awesome. Just partying and being young
and enjoying themselves. It was a fun time. Hey ladies in the place,
I’m callin’ out to ya There never was a city
kid truer and bluer There’s more to me
than you’ll ever know And I’ve got more
hits than Sadaharu Hey ladies Well what happened was– we were in L.A. We’re in this
new city and we were like buying records like crazy
and going though stuff, and being like, oh
this, this, this– [MUSIC PLAYING] You know, they thought
they had to do it properly. So they went to a big studio– We’d spent so much money
on these fancy studios, which is really fun when
you’re doing it at the time. Just tracking away in the
daytime with the Dust Brothers, and then they would come in
at night and do the vocals. We were making all this
and we think it’s great. “Paul’s Boutique” comes out. We’re really excited about it. Some critics maybe
are excited about it. But it turns out
people are actually not that excited about it. Bricks. I’m David Berman,
president Capitol Records, and I think president
of Beastie Boy Records, but I’m not sure about that one. Their new record
“Paul’s Boutique,” will definitely blow away any
speculation or misconception about what this group can do. I think the boys
have delivered what can be honestly compared to as
the Seregeant Pepper of rap. All this work and all this
energy went into this– in what we felt was a really
unique and cool record. You know what happened. You know, like nobody
was really interested. Nobody bought it. We went to the record label
guy, and record label guy, president guy was
like, next time. I don’t know what to tell you. They’re like, I don’t
even want to go on tour. Like let’s just not even,
let’s not even waste our time. We weren’t feeling it. We played like, a
couple of discos, that were like five
people that were there. It was a bad scene. And also our accountant’s
like, you guys thought you had all this money, but
actually you kind of spent most of it making your
record, so you really don’t have all this money. That was the devastating part. That gives us all this time
because nobody wants anything to do with us. That’s when we came up
with the idea of hey, instead of spending a couple
thousand dollars a day at the studio, let’s
just rent a space. I had some equipment and
then we had a lot more time. Then we spent two and
a half– three years, making “Check Your Head.” [THEME – BEASTIE BOYS, “PASS THE
MIC”] If fell what I’m feeling then
it’s a musical masterpiece Hear what dealing with
then that’s cool at least What’s running though my
mind comes though in my walk True feelings are shown
from the way that I talk, and this is me, y’all All we’re doing the time was
hanging out, smoking pot, having snacks, listening
to records, buying records. And we were listening
to a lot of good stuff. James Brown. Sly Stone. You know, Meters. So that that was
the inspiration. Because we were
listening to so many– so much different kinds of
music because of sampling, we all had this light bulb
moment where we were like, we should try playing
some stuff like that. Which in a weird way is
also kind of like– what we’re really thinking? It’s not like any of us
were trained musicians. You’ve got to dive in. And at the beginning it was– let’s try to be funky you
know, and it obviously comes up corny or cheesy at first. But like anything, you practice. The more you do it, all of
a sudden you know, that beat is starting to sound funkier. It all slowly evolves
the more you do it. Yeah, we sucked, like
really bad at first. And I think it damaged but
that was the thing that was really fun, is that
we sort of figured out a way to do it for ourselves. So we found this practice place
and we were there every night. We’re like, you know
this kind of sucks to have to bring in your
stuff and you take it down, and bring it in– so I’m assuming it was your
idea, you and Mario probably. We should get our own
little [BLEEP] studio. Yeah and I think Mario
and I talked about it, we’re just like– Yeah, we have our own
freedom, our own time– to work, and there’s
no clock running. Mike was the one who
checked out the spot. And we looked at it and we
were like, this is perfect. We can do everything here. We can have a skateboard
ramp, we can play basketball, we can play music when we want. And basically the month’s
rent paid for one night in an expensive studio. It was definitely a
comfortable environment. We’re just gonna– we’re gonna
try to make some [BLEEP] and I think that was the
ethos of the whole time. We’re gonna have fun and we’re
just going to make some [BLEEP] You know, we could never play
the super funk we wanted, but it was our own rendition. It seemed to be
cool and different. It kind of had a sound and
when we had enough songs, then we knew we had a record. We were learning how to play. We’re having all this
fun in the studio, and we finished this
record “Check Your Head.” And then we went on
tour playing everywhere. In clubs– the last
time we had done that, we were like, the fight
for your right to party guys. And so, now we’re in
these little clubs, playing these places, and
it’s way more fun than that. We didn’t expect that. There’s this confidence from
the touring and the tightness of performing. You know, you get better. It’s just like,
Mike’s on the drums and I know what he’s
going to do next. And I’m playing
guitar, and I know it Mark’s gonna play and yeah. So instead of like,
after a yearlong tour, instead of taking a break, we
just went back in the studio, because our studio
was really fun. More ideas brewing on tour. We stocked up more on records. Just getting stuff
ready for the next one. And we did have a better idea
of how to put things together. And then “Ill Communication”
just got spilled out. We weren’t like
climbing the mountain. We were just like– we knew what to do. [THEME – BEASTIE BOYS, SURE
SHOT] I’ve got the brand new
doo-doo, guaranteed like yo-hoo I’m on like Dr.
John, yeah, Mr. Zu Zu I’m a newlywed,
I’m not a divorcee And everything I do is
funky like Lee Dorsey It did get more refined. And they were more confident
after going on tour and rapping again, they
realize how fun it was and they really enjoyed it. It felt really good. We were very confident that
we knew how to work together. By the time we got to
“Ill Communication” we’d figure things out a little bit. But Yauch of course,
goes kind of next level. And before we know it, he’s
playing like the upright bass, trying to get on like some
Ron Carter type [BLEEP].. And like, really kind
of pulling it off. And we kind of got a little
bit better on our chops. Everything, production,
the sound, the equipment. We figured out what we
shouldn’t do, mostly. We shouldn’t waste
a bunch of time. But now getting down to
business, we know what [BLEEP] to do. And always, 100% of the
time having fun doing it. It’s not like a chock full
of hits record, but there’s– We have a couple of
big records on that. I mean we have “Sabotage.” Smash. OK. “Sure Shot.” People like that song. Big enough. “Dope Little Song.” Nobody’s ever heard that song. “Flute Loop.” I like that one. OK. “Eugene’s Lament.” “Bobo on the Corner.” Weird one. Even weirder. Yeah. But I like that. We put you know, weird
[BLEEP] on a record. That’s cool to do. The disrespect to women
has got to be through To all the mothers
and the sisters and the wives and friends I want to offer my love
and respect to the end You won’t you don’t stop Keep on and rockin’
the sure shot. It seems like when one of your
friends does and in passing, you’re just like oh I
said that’s a dope lyric. But you don’t– like how
it’s actually going– it doesn’t dawn on you how
that’s actually going to affect people at the time. We have the track
and we write lyrics to the track playing
over and over again. We write and write
them, and then we’d be like, OK Mike’s turn. So he’d say a bunch of
stuff and we keep it, and then it would be my
turn, I’d say what I have. Then it’d be Yauch’s turn,
whatever the order is, right? And so in the middle of all
of these dumb jokes about whatever, your voice says some
super heavy feminist [BLEEP] that like, in the early ’90s– and we’re just like, oh. You focus more on it, then
you realize the consciousness that went into it. He wanted to know what
was going on in the world, trying to keep his
eyes and ears open. Like be receptive to
everything that was going on, and that was pretty
cool that I was like, interacting with people
who are like that that. It makes us really– actually proud of our music
and really proud of Yauch, but at the time you’re
just like oh, that’s dope. [TIBETAN CHANTS] We were traveling all
the time because we were touring all the time. But then Yauch know instead
of feeling like he had a home, he just went fully into
this nomadic lifestyle. Traveling to India, traveling
to Bali, traveling to Nepal. He would come back
with these things that he had learned
and thought about, and he was just in a real
introspective sort of mode. And it was like he would bring
all those interests kind of back into the studio, in
kind of an amazing way. You know, on some of the
stuff he would– hey we should try using some of these monks. These chants and things. And we’re like, OK. Well you know, why not? And then we listened to it,
we tried it, and it worked. It complemented the music. It complemented the idea
and it worked really well. You know, I mean it’s not
like your friend just shows up and he’s wearing like a
white linen suit every day, and you’re like, what
the [BLEEP] is up with the weird white linen suit. This is like deep [BLEEP]
that your friend is into, so you’re not going to be like,
that’s weird, or judge it, or whatever. You like that’s [BLEEP] cool
that your friend is like– you know, sort of brave
enough to let everybody know, this is what
I’m about right now. That’s so punk [BLEEP]
right there man. It’s punk but it’s
also like, smart, and gentle, and with empathy. So it’s inspiring, and
I feel like we were just inspired by that. You know what? If you want to take it, you want
to say it, go ahead and say it. Let’s not forget that the reason
that this concert is going on, is to help the people of
Tibet get their freedom. So after it is over if
everybody could make an effort to do whatever they can to
make sure that that happens, that would be well appreciated. That’s a record The Beastie Boys again ready
to go headline Lollapalooza, as well as drop the next studio
release “Ill Communication.” The vibe was pretty instant. When people heard it, they
just kind of latched onto it, and liked it right off. It was exciting to be
able to go on the road. It was even better because then
we saw the direct connection with the audience. We’ve played in clubs and clubs. We played all over the place . Next thing we were like,
[BLEEP] Lollapalooza tour with over 50
thousand people, and they know some of our songs. Yeah, that was a little
bit unreal I think. Every day it was like,
pinch myself kind of a day. It was just one of
those weird moments that you have as a band,
where you’re just like, you literally don’t
know if anybody cares about you anymore. You don’t know what’s
going to happen. We just made this
new record that you know it’s kind of different,
and then all of a sudden you show up and people
actually show up for you. You’re like wow,
this is awesome. And then the response
live was like– they just embraced it. They’re like, they’re
here, they’re back, and it’s for real. And we did feel different
because also we were actually responsible for it. We actually had a voice. We could actually do
stuff on a bigger level and still have it
be fun, and kind of have it be a little bit more of
a world that we want it to be. And they’re just having fun. That really represents
who they are to me. We can do whatever we
want and pull it off. We could do that. You just turn up, and
[BLEEP] and [BLEEP] we’re just going to go for it. That whole “Fight for
your Right to Party” lifestyle all that stuff was
like this big, crazy thing. And then it just fell off the
cliff, which was actually fine. So we built it up, and
I’m pretty proud of that. And since I was a small
boy, I had a dream that Spike would win this,
and now this has happened. And I just want to
tell everyone that this is a farce, that I had
all the ideas for Star Wars and everything. [THEME – BEASTIE BOYS, “GET IT
TOGETHER”] One two one tow keep it on Listen to the ’cause
we keep it ’till dawn Listen to the abstract
got it going on Listen of the ladies
come on let me spawn All your eggs then
you go up the river Listen at the
abstract that freaky I’m ad rock and I shock
and I tick and I tock And I can’t stop
with the body rock See I’ve got heart
like John Starks


  1. Post
    Dominique Hamel

    Ok MCA is dead and rip to you bro. But the remaining 2 dudes are pretty much ALIVE so why don't they make new stuff?????

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    Great interview. Thanks. So odd how Paul's Boutique bombed at the time as it is now considered to be one of the best Hip Hop albums of all time. Love the Beastie Boys and miss them so much. Hoping they can one day find the courage to go back to all the demos they must have had for Hot Sauce Committee Part 1 with MCA and get some old songs released. I know it would be tough for them listening to MCA on tracks but hopefully one day they can. Gawd bless Adam and Mike.

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    SO glad my dad listened to this in the car when I was a baby until now. I remembered the sound and knew the lyrics even though I never listened to beastie boys on my own ❤️ I love y’all, rip MCA, I was fucking so sad when I was in 9th grade. I can’t forget that moment.

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    Frederick Blackwell

    Rap legends of the Rap game, The Beastie Boyz. RIP MCA aka Adam Yauch aka Nathaniel Hornblower. White Castle Hamburgers and Fries come in one size.

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    I'm Tired Of It Too

    I caught em at McNichols in 97. One of the last Concerts there. Interplanetary Tour. Had the time of my life 😏💞 To and from Denver home, every car was windows down and Beasties on. It was RAD 💙💙💙👍

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    During the Paul's boutique era, a young Dutch band called the Urban dance squad started to make a splash and the Beastie Boys had them open shows for them.

    The UDS were unique since they combined Rap with a DJ with a live rock band. So when the Beasties went into the studio to record "Check yo head" they thanked the UDS in the liners notes.

    A year later the UDS returned the accolade in their song "Demagogue"

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    Matthew Bittenbender

    Paul’s Boutique was such an underrated album. Those that didn’t get it in on that when it was new really missed out. The Beasties really showed their lyrical chops and flow. It wasn’t punchy likeLicensed to Ill but it was smart, funny and ground breaking.

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    don james

    Paul’s boutique and I’ll communication , 2 of my all time favorite hip hop records period ! You had to of bin there to understand

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    "Cause I'm a specializer, rhyme reviser

    Ain't selling out to advertisers

    What you get is what you see

    And you won't see me out there advertising"

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    Mark Scott

    I remember when I was managing a Tennis shop in Atwater Village, CA. I saw the Beastie Boys headed upstairs to their studio… I was like… Damn… Cool dudes. They used to let us come up and shoot some hoop and skate on the ramp every now and then… they even shot a music video on the roof of the studio.

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    Motor Boat

    Hands-down one of the greatest rap groups ever highly underestimated these guys are full talent and heart !!!

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    Scott Shanahan

    I love this, but don't love that they're all getting old…because it means I am too (I saw them in 92 and was already an adult).

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    Antuan Grantham

    I'm happy to say I did buy Paul's Boutique with a shitty part time job in the 9th grade. Anybody older than I was at that time who didn't cop it…nowadays is fronting like, "Oh, it's Ahead of it's time." Go to the Paul's Boutique album on YouTube, and see how many posers you can spot

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    The Original Captain Trips

    stopped @ 6:17 to stop watching, down vote & post this…if you cant say shit then i cant be positive about your video, coward.

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    transmission GGB

    It's a great mix of hip hop and their punk roots as well as mellow musical instrumentals and what a mix of music that shouldn't of worked but was great.

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    john smith

    When you had the sabotage vhs and embraced the beastie boys only to watch this and realize that it’s not 94…I feel sorry for millennials and their skinny jeans, ouch.

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    Mikey Tavarez

    Caucasians trying to take over rap and trying to make it their own. all it was. long live the South Bronx. mott haven is the universe.

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    In 1994 a buddy that was working at MTV got me and my brother backstage VIP passes fort he MTV Music Awards. We ended up backstage but couldn't find anywhere to settle and chill. We got off the elevator and down a long hallway was a live hip hop drum beat. We walked down the hall and hanging on the door was a crooked sign that said "Beastie Boys". We opened the door and there was Mike D playing the drums and Shakay a female New York rapper rapping. My brother was working at Imago Records at the time and knew Shakay so we were in. We got to hang out in The Beastie Boys dressing room all night with Green Day and Nirvana. We ended up climbing up into a balcony where no one was at and watched The Beastie Boys play Sabotage live on stage at the Radio City Music Hall. It was historic.

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    Super Cam1

    Best live show ever, Roots opened for the B Boys 1996 in ATL at the old Omni. Beasties blew the roof off of that place. Nothing else has even come close.

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    Gob Berrit

    i dont get people. Pauls boutique was a fucking masterpeice. I bought it when it came out and loved it. of course, those were the days i dropped acid alot. maybe thats why i loved it so much.

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    Riri King

    Y'all…. I'm laughing so hard right now! I'll be 47 in December and I remember being 13 or 14 and loving the bestie boys. I never got to watch tv and only heard them while I was alone on the radio. I listen to them 2 nights ago on my way home in the truck. I thought they were black! My mind is blown lmao.

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    Mixtape Magic

    Best Beasties album: Paul's Botique
    2nd best: The Mix Up
    3rd: The In Sound From Way Out

    Their lad back instrumental stuff is highly underrated.

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    Grant Wilson

    I bought it ( Pauls Boutique) . It was THE first CD I ever bought – once I could afford a CD Player Hi Fi – being sick of low-grade late 80-'s vinyl getting scratched and when Pauls Boutique came out. I transitioned to buying CDs. I have over 800 CD albums- all cool Hip Hop and mainly Indi-rock and this album is still in my top 10…of all time. What a first CD to buy!! I look forward to meeting MCA -Adam – again – in heaven to thank him for adding so much to this Life we've had. Much obliged. Thanks Boys.

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    Beastie Boys, especially MCA, now serve as role models to me on how to be an artist and a human being. I’ve already been published a few times because I followed their example, wearing my own shoes of course. I know MCA is on a better plane of existence now, but I want to personally thank him for being that example. Mad love and eternal respect unto you MCA!!

    Mike D “he’s a special individual…pulling the residuals; just get on the mic cause you know you eat shellfish” and Ad rock “my brother ad rock, come on and shine like a light”, you 2 taught me how to have fun and bring…so difficult to put my feelings in words, but know I’m grateful. Don’t ever disappear because we fans enjoy having you around doing funny antics or releasing some tracks (even remixes). Keep on keeping on 🙂

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    Meric Pine

    I waited for Our Price Bournemouth to open so I could buy Paul’s Boutique on the day it was released. On cassette. Side 2 was too confusing and so I stuck to side 1 until I knew it word for word and then I flipped it over and in time it blew my impressionable mind!… Still the best album ever.

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    simon templer

    These guys were not really Rappers or Hiphop in the traditional sense ….as their songs were actually songs composed and preformed by them. They were not just three angry kids ranting to a generic beat..Sabotage would be a good example of this…They were also an "act" very visual and came out at just the right time for their style "MTV" era! Run DMC was similar very visual and were helped a whole lot by MTV as well. …

    Oh and how time has changed, celebrities now are against anyone who is critical of China and their tyrannical practices esp against Hong Kong let alone Tibet!

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    Di Coke

    Great to see Mario C & Money Mark. I saw the Beasties 6 times on the Ill Communication tour. It was amazing, they were all having so much fun…

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    Dave Carsley

    2019 and massive corporations like Amazon are back to censoring music on the free platform of the internet like we're kindergarteners and they're our teachers.

    Just like the old days of the right wing in the 90s… Brilliant.

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