New York bred Hip-Hop trio, The Beastie Boys, were formally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, where festivities kicked off with a concert paying tribute to the newly elected members.
Appearing with one less member, as Adam “MCA” Yauch is currently ill, the Beastie Boys Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz watched as The Roots, Kid Rock, and Travie McCoy rapped through several of the Beastie Boys most popular songs, including “Sabotage.”
The Beastie Boys class of fellow inductees includes Guns N’ Roses, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donovan, Laura Nyro, The Small Faces/Faces, The Crickets, The Famous Flames, The Midnighters, The Comets, The Blue Caps, and The Miracles.
Freddie King received the “Early Influencer” induction, while Don Kirshner, Cosimo Matassa, Glyn Johns, and Tom Dowd were all elected as side men.
The induction marks the celebration of a highly eventful career for the rap trio that built its name early on with help of Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin at Def Jam Recordings. They continue to craft songs and distribute their work worldwide.
“We’re in the rock and roll hall of fame? That’s f—-n’ crazy and awesome! While we are very proud of the music we make, we have to acknowledge the inspiration from our families, friends and musicians like the slits, bad brains, x-ray spex, the treacherous three and too many others to possibly name. And most of all, we give thanks to New York City and the world of musical influence it provided for us,” The Beastie Boys said in a statement to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Their body of work boasts four platinum selling albums, making them one of Rap and Hip-Hop’s greatest selling acts of all time. They ignored the color gap in Hip-Hop during the 1980′s, helping to cross over the genre to mainstream TV and radio audiences that included the growing white kid and college kid segment of Hip-Hop listeners.
In November 1984, the Beastie Boys song “Rock Hard,” became one of the first songs that Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin released collectively on Def Jam Recordings.
The Beasties’ buzz soared the following year, although they were booed opening up for Madonna’s 1985 Virgin tour. Nevertheless, the group was resilient, releasing “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)” the following year to critical acclaim.
The song peaked at #7 on the Billboard Charts, helping Licensed to Ill sell over four million copies in less than a year, and later going on to sell nine million albums worldwide.
The Beasties Boys would later tour with Run DMC as part of 1986′s “Raising Hell Tour” – one of Rap music’s first big budget tours – also including Whodini and a young up-and-coming LL Cool J .
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes The Beastie Boys follow-up project, Paul’s Boutique, as a landmark project in Hip-Hop history.
Their albums, Ill Communication, and Hello Nasty, both reached #1 on the Billboard Charts, and Hello Nasty, and earned the group two Grammy Awards – Best Alternative Music Performance(Hello Nasty) and Best Performance by a Rap Group (or Duo) – for their song “Intergalactic.”
Receiving two awards in separate genres showcased the Beastie Boys’ crossover appeal, as seen throughout the years in their music which attracts both Rock and Rap/Hip-Hop fans.
The group’s accolade was presented during the induction by Chuck D of Public Enemy.