Beastie Boys (1994)
Redefining the musical landscape for the third and final time, the Beasties clotheslined the rules of hip-hop by playing their own instruments and music on this record, in addition to writing their own musical material. Not only that, but they play in a competent and fairly unique way. They went from copying and pasting their varied influences to chopping them up into something utterly new, and here they compose fresh tunes with those predecessors in mind.
Ill Communication is still very much based around impromtu jamming and grooving, like its predecessor Check Your Head. But this one is more polished, structured and surprising. It still has a bunch of weird deviations, but that’s part of the fun. The Beasties were at a creative high point, and letting their minds wander produced some neat cultural cross-pollinating results. Their DIY method on most of this album is still unparalleled in its genre.
Key track: “Futterman’s Rule”
See also: Check Your Head – Beastie Boys (1992)