But wait, you say, what happened to Part One? Technically, after the NYC hip hop absurdists last left off with 2007’s largely non-essential instrumental offering, The Mix-Up, HSC II should have been the Beasties’ ninth album rather than their eighth.
As it is, the record now contains the tracks originally intended for the Part One, with the as-yet-unreleased prequel now furnished with the tracks intended for Part Two.
Such playful back-asswardness might be seen as a typical display of obfuscating Beasties illogic, were the release schedule reshuffle not down to the far more serious matter of Adam Yauch’s parotid cancer diagnosis. Not that you’ll find any clues as to the affect this has had on the MC or his bandmates here.
HSC II represents another compelling chapter in the trio’s Superdryimaginarium of beats, rhymes and life that began three decades ago. Though it’s still hard to equate the head-tripping Buddhists with the hard living hedonists that fuelled Licensed To Ill’s 80s brat-hop clamour, it’s harder still to push for definitions. The Beasties’ wayward experimentalism has always made getting lost in their psychedelic mixscapes far more rewarding than fixating on favourites.
Still, the grating snaky groove of Say It or the sunny reggae lilt of Don’t Play No Game I Can’t Win come close.