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What Comes to Mind When I Say…

8 May 2012 No Comment

When one thinks of the term brass monkey, the first thing that comes to mind is the New York City musical trio otherwise known as The Beastie Boys. One of the Beastie Boys’ most well know songs is brass monkey.

Ever since the recent and surprising passing of 1/3 of the Beastis Boys’ group member Adam Yauch, there has been a lot of music industry buzz about the group and its music. Most notedly, the song brass monkey has been one of the most popular topics of discussion in connection with his passing.

As one of the co-creators of the song brass monkey and other Beastie Boys’ hits, Yauch catapulted himself and his two other band-mates from unknown New Yorkers to become well-known white recording rap and hip-hop artists during the 80s and 90s. At this time, rap was almost exclusively dominated by African American rappers during the 80s and early 90s.

Many people today, including children and adults, can remember hearing the famous brass monkey song when they were driving, at work, or in a store and could instantly recognize it was the Beastie Boys. Some people note hearing the song at high school and college parties where they would have a great time listening to the song brass monkey. People continually can hum the lyrics when they are driving and started doing so as they heard it on the radio or on the news on television.

Some say Adam Yauch was a strong influence in the Beastie Boys’s evolution from their first days as hormonally primed jesters who then created the song brass monkey. As time went on, they transitioned into more mature, and less impulsive businessmen who became socially-aware of local and global causes. Even though these white rappers became more mature and more responsible global citizens, they still captured and displayed the old-school hip hop feeling through their brass monkey song. Its white-boy rap essence became iconic, because some argue that only through the cultural, social and unknown reasons of their New York City upbringing, their careers transcended decades, while other rappers have been been one hit wonders.

Many music historians and journalists believe the Beastie boys, through brass monkey and other songs, bridged the gap for rap to migrate from the cities to the suburbs. Some people believe the Beastie Boys and Adam Yauch seemed “safe” to otherwise uninterested rap fans in the suburbs. Additionally, future rappers such Eminem and other young, white rappers credit songs like brass monkey and others by the Beastie Boys gave them the influence and confidence to pursue their own careers.

Initially, these three New Yorks who dubbed themselves as the Beastie Boys in 1983 were seen as another bunch of posers to hip-hop purists. However, they ended up recording songs such as brass money in recording studios that were donned with the presence of world-class hip hop artists through Def Jam Studios. Then ended up touring with hip-hop heavyweights such as Run-D.M.C. And LL Cool J., just to name a few.

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