Beastie Boys was the first all-white, mainstream hip-hop band that we are aware of. The band formed in NYC in 1981, as a punk band called The Young Aborigines, and was known for their raucous concerts. After finding some success in NYC with an experimental hip hop recorded they released in 1983, titled Cooky Puss, the band switched from punk to 100% hip hop and changed their name. After the dust settled, the band members were Michael "Mike D" Diamond (vocals, drums), Adam "MCA" Yauch (vocals, bass) and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz (vocals, guitar).
By 1985, after the release of a couple of successful singles, the Beastie Boys were on tour with Madonna. This tour was actually prior to the release of their first album, Licensed to Ill (1986), which became the best selling rap album of the 1980's (and the first to hit number 1 on the Billboard chart). Many of you will remember the songs "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" and "No Sleep till Brooklyn" from this album. In 1989, the band released the album Paul's Boutique. Although this album was not nearly as successful as their first official release, it is considered by many to be one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.
The band continued producing well into the 2010's. The have won a number of Grammy's and MTV Video Music Awards since their 80's heyday. In May of 2012, MCA Yauch died of cancer. Mike D and Ad-Rock stated in 2014 that, out of respect for Yauch, that they would retire the name "Beastie Boys". The Beastie Boys Discography is as follows:
- 1986: Licensed to Ill
- 1989: Paul's Boutique
- 1992: Check Your Head
- 1994: Ill Communication
- 1994: Some Old Bullshit
- 1996: The In Sound from Way Out!
- 1998: Hello Nasty
- 1999: Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science
- 2004: To the 5 Boroughs
- 2005: Solid Gold Hits
- 2007: The Mix-Up
- 2011: Hot Sauce Committee Part Two