Monday, May 7, 2012


First and foremost, I want to send out my deepest condolences to the Yauch family and the Beastie Boys for the passing of Adam Yauch, known to the musical world as MCA.  Less than a month after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, his untimely passing has shocked the hip hop community, and entertainment in general.  His presence, both from a musical and philanthropic aspect, will be missed.  The Beastie sound will always endure, namely because of the vision of MCA in forming the collective as a punk outfit at the end of the disco era.  Hardcore punk was burgeoning, and this new, undiscovered artform that really didn't have an identifiable name, was slowly bubbling on the underground.  It came to be hip hop, and the Beastie Boys were ahead of the curve, as three white cats with the musical aesthetic placed their stamp on hip hop culture.

One of the things that set the Beastie Boys apart was their embracing of sampling as a viable musical tool.  Going back to their infancy stage with Def Jam, sampling has been a staple of MCA, Ad Rock, and Mike D.  Not to say that was the only thing they focused on, because, again, these cats were musically inclined, and they incorporated that musicality into their various projects and albums.  One album that I'm inclined to focus on is the 2004 To The 5 Boroughs, released on Capitol Records.

This album, a collection of sixteen prime cuts, was a testament to the group's allegiance to their home turf (especially after 9/11 a few years prior).  It also showcase the the Beastie trio handling the production, instead of collaborating with outside entities.  This made for a unique listening experience, with To The 5 Boroughs sounding like simplistic, futuristic retro (if any distinction can be made for this album).  A standout cut on the album is Track 14, "The Brouhaha".  This two minute, thirteen second joint is vintage Beasties, with each emcee (and indeed, these three are the very definition of emcees) tackling the track like the hip hop professionals they are.

"The Brouhaha" is a layered cut, taking the body of its sonic construction from the 1967 orchestral entitled "Love Is Blue", by Paul Mauriat.  Mauriat was a French pianist and orchestra leader of Le Grand Orchestre de Paul Mauriat.

This orchestral collective reworked the Andre' Popp cut (originally titled "L'Amour Est Bleu"), making it the perfect joint for the Beastie Boys to utilize for "The Brouhaha".  Elements of orchestral music, semi-psychedelic, and easy listening made "Love Is Blue" the song of the moment during the latter part of the 1960's, with the Mauriat-led tune charting at #1 for five weeks in '68. 

Included on the 1967 album Blooming Hits, released on the successful imprint Philips Records (a subsidiary of the great Philips conglomerate), the single has sold over one million copies worldwide.  Blooming Hits has also reached that milestone, showing the international acclaim that Mauriat had with his music.  The Beastie Boys definitely dug in the crates for this gem, mining music that is often overlooked from a sampling notion.

I'm sure that we will not see the last of the Beastie Boys, even with MCA transitioning to that next hip hop dimension.  Visit for all things Beastie.  On the home page you will find a touching tribute to Adam "MCA" Yauch, and you can also view video, discography, and other pertinent pieces of Beastie info.  Also, cop that newest Beastie Boys treat, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2.

Peace to those that have viewed my Sample Sunday series, and I vow to continue until there is no more sampling to discuss...the sampling saga continues!


Musical Links:

"The Brouhaha":
"Love Is Blue":

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