Beastie Boys: Twilight of the Brats

Spin's cover story: "Ideologically, the Beastie Boys have almost nothing in common with who they used to be. If the '86 B-Boys and the '04 B-Boys met each other now, somebody would end up in the emergency room--or at least covered in egg yolks. Yet one thing has remained unchanged over the years, and it's the unifying principle that has allowed Horovitz, Yauch, and Diamond to remain relevant longer than anyone could have anticipated: The Beastie Boys understand what it means to be cool. It's almost as if being cool is their full-time job. They can make any retro reference seem contemporary; they innately sense the line between savvy cultural recognition and esoteric self- indulgence. They basically discovered Spike Jonze, made shouting out neglected soul-jazz musicians trendy (Dick Hyman, Eddie Harris, Richard 'Groove' Holmes), and taught people born in 1978 to care about the American Basketball Association. The Beastie Boys are hip-hop's version of the 'mavens' that Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in The Tipping Point: They are cool hunters for the rest of us."


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