Contact Us

15 Years Ago: The Beastie Boys’ ‘Hello Nasty’ Album Released

Beastie Boys, Hello Nasty
Capitol Records

The Beastie Boys’ legacy may be that they reverse-broke the color barrier in the hip-hop world — they made it cool to be white and rap long before Vanilla Ice arrived on the scene and set the cause back a decade or so.

When 1994’s ‘Ill Communication’ rocketed to the top of the charts, the group toured hard in support of the album, played Lollapalooza and then went on a four-year semi-hiatus.

A lot happened in the years between ‘Ill Communication’ and its follow-up, ‘Hello Nasty,’ which turns 15 today. In 1995, the band released an EP of hardcore tunes (the Beasties were originally a punk band, and they did a few tracks on ‘Ill Communication’ in that style), and the following year, Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch, a Buddhist, helped launch the first in a string of Tibetan Freedom concerts, which saw big-name artists like Beck and the Red Hot Chili Peppers show their support for the still-contentious cause.

So when ‘Nasty’ showed up in the summer of 1998, it was a tall glass of ice-cold lemonade for fans. Critics also sang its praises, and it went on to garner a pair of Grammy awards. Bringing in expert spinster Mix Master Mike (see: ‘Three MC’s and One DJ’), the Beastie Boys expanded on what was already a highly eclectic, innovative sound, reaffirming their relevance in a year that saw Madonna and the Smashing Pumpkins go electro (‘Ray of Light,’ ‘Adore’) and Lauryn Hill dominate radio with her breakout ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.’ As Joe Levy noted in a 1998 Rolling Stone article, the group also wrote the album’s lyrics together for the first time since 1989’s ‘Paul’s Boutique,’ and that spirit of collaboration is testament to the album’s “old school” roots and unity of vision.

In addition to the singles ‘Intergalactic’ and ‘Body Movin’,’ the album is chock-full of accessible tracks with the usual Beastie Boys wry sense of humor and braggadocios rhyming. Also of note is track 21, ‘Dr. Lee, PhD,’ featuring the multi-talented reggae producer/artist Lee Scratch Perry, who has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. (Again, the Beasties were well ahead of the curve with their Lee love.)

‘Hello Nasty’ reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, becoming the third Beasties LP to hit the top spot. It was a feat they’d match six years later with ‘To the 5 Boroughs,’ which, given MCA’s untimely death in 2012, will likely stand as their final chart topper.

Next: Elliott Smith's 'Roman Candle' Released

Best of the Web

Festival Fever News

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://diffuser.fm using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Diffuser.fm quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on Diffuser.fm quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!