MCA Pimps Bad Brains

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It’s only fitting that MCA of the Beastie Boys (Adam Yauch) pumped out the newest and ninth full-length Bad Brains’ punk album, Build a Nation, which hits record stores today. The Beastie Boys first dabbled in punk before riding the rap genre all the way to stardom and, for years, Yauch has claimed that the Bad Brains were a huge influence on his music.

Bad Brains is a band often credited with originating the hardcore sub-genre of punk rock. All four members were African American, and they mixed reggae with punk music. Some say they should have picked one or the other. I say they were, and still are, um…bad ass.

The album is pretty damn good but it’s not breaking any new ground. Much like their previous recordings, there are songs that are lightning fast, as well as slower, dub reggae ones. Lyrics float between themes of Rastafarianism and social commentary. It’s a time capsule for fans of a band that, by mixing reggae and political themes with aggressive and loud music, influenced a huge chunk of what we call alternative music today.

—Gary Moskowitz

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