Sunday, May 13, 2012

Beastie Week: "Too Many Rappers"

The Beastie Boys are famous for shining a light on rising hip-hop talents. They've taken The Roots and Talib Kweli on tour, rhymed with Q-Tip and Pharcyde and even let Kanye West appear in their "Triple Trouble" video in 2004. Less appreciated is the Beasties' tendency to enlist rap veterans and bring out the best in them, as they did with Nas on the Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.

Nas is a Queens-based rapper who gets great reviews for his street poet lyrics. Less commendable are his usually rhythmless, unimaginative beats. With the Beasties in tow, he's served with the kind of track his lyrics deserve, a bouncy Mix Master Mike beat with percussion that sounds like Stomp with trash can lids. The Beasties selflessly give Nas the chorus, although they're all included in the rejoinder, "One, two three/Too many rappers and there's still not enough MCs/It goes three, two, one/MCA, Ad-Rock, Mike D that's how we get it done."

The Beastie Boys were right, there are not enough MCs. And now there are even fewer.

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