Critical 5: Beastie Boys VideosBy Michael Wojtas
Looking back at the classics.
While it's difficult to overstate the Beastie Boys' influence on hip hop and alternative rock, their importance in the world of music videos is also immeasurable. So memorable are their videos, they seem to have a life of their own that runs parallel to the music itself - chances are, even those children of the '80s and '90s who never owned a Beastie Boys' album couldn't escape their adolescence without connecting with at least one of the group's hilariously inventive videos. We bring you but a few of our favorites below.
"(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)"
Though it was conceived as a skewering of meathead hard rock hits, this hugely successful clip still has more laughs than many a feature-length teen comedy and helped bring the Beastie Boys to a broader audience.
A sort of blueprint for the retro worshipping/satirizing, faux '70s aesthetic that would define much of the Beastie Boys' subsequent humor, the "Hey Ladies" video has a groovy, over-the-top appeal to match the song's laundry list of funk, soul and FM rock samples. It's tough to imagine the square dancing antics of "
Building on the template laid out by "Hey Ladies," this Spike Jonze-helmed classic found the rappers diving head first into '70s police drama schlock with a fervor that betrayed a certain smirking fondness for the hopelessly cheesy material being caricatured. The first image that will spring to mind when many of us think of the Beastie Boys: three mustachioed cops with super-bad chops. TV crime dramas would never look quite the same again.
The Beasties continued to use the silliest possible pop culture reference points as their personal playground with "Intergalactic." In this Adam Yauch-directed clip, they ditch bell bottoms and buddy cops for revelatory inanity of vintage Japanese monster flicks.
"Make Some Noise"
Another video that featured Yauch working behind the lens, "Make Some Noise" is a veritable who's who of cool comedians and indie actors. The cameo-fest has appearances from the likes of Jason Schwartzman, Chloë Sevigny, Zach Galifianakis and John C. Reilly, and brings things back full circle to the "Fight For Your Right" days.
|(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)|
|Make Some Noise|