It was their 1986 classic Licensed to Ill —not offerings by Run-DMC or Sugarhill Gang—that became the first rap LP to top the Billboard charts. Along with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, the Beastie Boys are the only hip-hop act enshrined at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The Beasties were three white Jewish kids from New York – Michael Diamond (Mike D), Adam Horowitz (Ad-Rock) and Adam Yauch (MCA) – that broke barriers for hip-hop and knocked down walls within the genre. They showed that you could be taken seriously as a rapper no matter your background or what you looked like.
Selling over 50-million albums, they also paved the way for the likes of Eminem and Jewish rapper Mac Miller – aside from their untold influence on the birth of hip-hop.
The ‘Beastie Boys Book’ tells the 600-page in-depth story. Now available on Amazon