Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Beastie Boys - "Slow Ride"(Dylan's Dumb iPod #19)

OMG. The plane totally says "Eat Me" backwards

I was born a solid year after Licensed to Ill's release, but it was still my initiation to the Beasties a few years later. Listening now, it does swing a little clumsy and plays heavier on the cheapshot party anthems than the technical prowess they'd later showcase. Though it doesn't hold a candle to the masterpiece pastiches of Paul's Boutique and Check Your Head it's still an exuberant nod to a special and transitionary (nerd journalists say "Golden Age") time in hip-hop, and for a suburban white male still feeling his way around 70's dinosaur rock and 90's alt, it was the perfect jumping off point.

Anyone with a fistful of brain cells to mash together will spot the sampling of War's "Lowrider" (copyright rules were much different then, just ask Biz Markie), as the Beastie's freely wore their influences on their respective sleeves. The track tackles heavy-handed issues like grubbing at White Castle, physically assaulting school teachers (she chased me outta class/ she was strapped wit a ruler) and doing drugs (I went to the bathroom and rolled myself a wooler). [Editor's note: The Wu-Tang Manual describes a "Wooler" as a joint that's been lightly dusted with Cocaine].

Personally, I dig 80's hip hop because of all the references to "dust" and "brew." Somehow the terminology seems delightfully archaic, but maybe that's just because I grew up in the midwest. It's a tight, danceably giddy song in blatant celebration of rebellion, pranksterism and youthful indifference, and one worth spinnin' on a leisurely bike ride or a house party when the folks have bounced.


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