Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Daily Jam - So What'Cha Want

I was a suburban kid who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s…of course I like the Beastie Boys.

Growing up, I spent a lot of summer vacations in New Orleans, visiting my grandfather and all of the aunts, uncles, and cousins on my mom’s side of the family, my brother and I sleeping on sofas in the living area of my grandfather’s house, the house my mother grew up in. Very often, there would be boring days during these trips, all of the cousins left to our own devices to while away the time playing in the yard or something. Of course, entering my early teenage years, we’d spend a lot of time just plopped in front of the television watching music videos on MTV.

I was 13 in the summer of 1992, and my musical tastes were just beginning to expound, the likes of Nirvana et al pushing me into all manner of angsty, guitar driven punk rock. I was beginning to move away from so much of the old school hip-hop I had listened to, but then I caught the video for “So What’Cha Want,” the Beastie Boys’ heavy and thumping earworm from Check Your Head. I was floored, there in my grandfather’s living room. It was like this wonderful hybrid of punk and rap. Turns out, I wasn’t going anywhere.

I didn’t know it then, but originally the trio of Ad-Rock, MCA, and Mike D had been a hardcore punk rock band, a fact that became increasingly evident on the Beastie Boys’ 1990’s releases. It informed a lot of what they were doing musically, and combining that aggressiveness with their innate playfulness and their penchant for sampling, the result was some of the best hip-hop of that decade.

“So What’Cha Want” still kills it, and that guitar riff never fails to bring back some of that young adolescent angst and restlessness, the hot and humid days of an endless summer laid before me.

Listen below, our Daily Jam.

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