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‘Licensed To Ill’ by The Beastie Boys

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‘RAP-METAL’ arrives in a shower of shaken-up Budweiser and causes untold offence to tabloid columnists, rentaquote MPs, riot-fearing headmasters and people who owned big flashy cars that were too big to park in their street anyway. Yes indeed, long before rappers started getting shot in ‘turf wars’ preciptated by someone dissing someone else’s sneakers, The Beastie Boys were seen as the single biggest threat to Western civilisation in the entire history of forever, and if the above disgruntled parties were to be believed, Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA were plotting to murder us all in our beds the second No Sleep Till Brooklyn started slipping down the charts. With the benefit of hindsight nobody’s quite sure what they did to warrant this reputation, other than being a bit gung-ho for beer and sex, making an admittedly slightly-shocking-for-1986 video with much couch-bound snog-centric comedy, and falling over while saying ‘Cold Medina’ on the Montreux Pop Festival, but all the same Licensed To Ill became almost impossible to get hold of in the first place, due to over-zealous power-crazed Saturday boys at WH Smiths, and even if you did manage to get hold of a copy it would invariably be snatched quickly away by concerned parents or confiscation-happy schoolteachers (doubtless ending up in a cupboard next to huge piles of the Spitting Image book). The ultimate ‘tape to tape’-d album, then, and listened to fervently by a whole generation of wannabe-VW-badge-purloiners who may have long since pretended their embarrassing attempts at wearing a backwards baseball cap never happened, but can still do a pitch-perfect impression of ‘sheeeeeeee’s craftyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy’ if circumstances call for one.

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