Music is incredibly diverse and always evolving. Through history we have seen large shifts from one genre to the next, particularly from Blues to Rock & Roll to Hip Hop (with some hair metal in between). However, these shifts have naturally come with gray areas such as originality. Rock and Roll emphasized culture, human flaws and self-identity, and several artists proclaimed those attributes through the recreation of blues songs, specifically the Delta Blues. Through this action, music lovers and historians have agreed that this was “stealing” from the black community that created and produced the songs. Arguably, all art is stolen.
Any form of art – painting, music, photography has all been “stolen” or been an inspiration to the Next Big Thing. Yes, I capitalized this because for the music industry specifically, that’s what producers and labels are looking for, and they found it, in the Beastie Boys.
The Beastie Boys started as a punk band in the early 1980s; their quirky music videos, rock/rap lyrics brought the white kids out to the party. They were the Brat Pack of Hip Hop, bringing the culture of undercover partying in the Suburbs, even though they were from the NYC. After gaining a massive audience, they rockstar-like ways brought police to shows and incited a sweaty group of kids trying to “fight for the right to party”. While black rappers were creating a music that brought light to the violence filled-burning neighborhoods of New York City, the Beastie Boys shed light on the more care-free side of the highway and their love for White Castle.