The last time the Beastie Boys were contemplating the release of a new batch of their lyrical and funktastic goodness, they were anticipating the inauguration of President Obama and searching for inspiration in those four crucial letters: H-O-P-E.
“I’d say indirectly he has inspired us,” a bundled-up Ad-Rock told MTV News back on January 9, 2009, 11 days before Obama took the oath of office. “You know, with hope brings a sort of sense of fun and some type of pleasure and I feel like we have had a pleasurable amount of fun recording our new record.”
And while they didn’t quite have their political moves down — Ad-Rock’s answer to former President Clinton’s signature emphatic thumbs-up was a kind of Howie Mandel-esque “come give daddy a hug” gesture — MCA predicted at the time that the then-untitled work would hit in May of that year.
That plan was thrown out, though, when MCA (born Adam Yauch) announced that he was battling cancer in his salivary glands and would be undergoing surgery. In addition to pushing back the album as he healed, the group canceled all their summer 2009 tour dates and announced tentative plans to release Hot Sauce Committee in fall 2010. That, of course, also didn’t happen and somewhere along the way, as these things are wont to do in the world of Beastie, Part One morphed into Part Two.
But let’s get back to 2009. At the time, there was, of course, the usual multiple dead-end comedic roads the Boys led us down in discussing the then in-the-works first version of the album. They included MCA seemingly announcing that “his” CD was gonna drop around May 5, which led Ad-Rock and Mike D to wonder what this solo album was that they were not aware of.
“Yo, my album gonna drop … ” MCA started in a mock tone.
“You have a solo album?,” a hurt Mike D asked.
“You guys didn’t know about that?” MCA countered.
“Is that coming out at the same time as the jewelry and perfume line?” D wondered.
“No, Justin Timberlake and I are working on the jewelry thing on the side,” MCA explained. “Actually, a ladies’ watch that he and I are designing, a beautiful ladies’ watch crusted with diamonds.”
And, in keeping with their legendary lyrical and vocal interplay, Ad-Rock had to chuckle at that description, sniggering, “crusted” like a live-action, long-lost cousin of “Beavis and Butt-head.”
At the time, when asked about reported guests on the album, they confirmed spots by M.I.A., Young Jeezy and Snoop Dogg, as well as Jarvis Cocker from 1990s Britpop band Pulp. Oh, and “Barbara.” Wait, who?
“Barbara … Barbara’s my neighbor,” Ad-Rock said to a confused Mike D.
“I thought you were talking about Barbara Bush,” MCA threw in, with all the boys laughing at the mention of the name.
“We actually don’t have any of those people on the record, it’s just a rumor,” Ad-Rock clarified. “So far, it’s us, though,” he smiled, trying out his arms-wide-open, not-yet-signature political move one more time.
It’s still unclear which songs from the unreleased Part One made it onto the sequel, but what we do know is that Nas and Santigold figure on a pair of songs and that the first single, “Make Some Noise,” had a seriously classic coming-out party in the “Fight for Your Right Revisited” short film .
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