Hip Hop Wiki
Beastie Boys
Beastie Boys


New York City, New York, U.S.


Hip hop, rap rock, alternative hip hop, hardcore punk, rapcore

Years active



Rat Cage Records (1982-1984)
Def Jam Recordings (1984-1989)
Columbia (1986)
Capitol Records (1989-2012)
Grand Royal (1992-1999)

Associated acts

Biz Markie, Cypress Hill, DJ Hurricane, Mix Master Mike, Nas, Q-Tip, Run-D.M.C., The Roots

Past members

  • Ad-Rock
  • John Berry
  • MCA (deceased)
  • Mike D
  • Kate Schellenbach

Beastie Boys were an American hip hop band from New York City, formed in early 1982. For the majority of its career, the group consisted of three MCs and musicians: Michael "Mike D" Diamond (vocals, drums), Adam "MCA" Yauch (vocals, bass) and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz (vocals, guitar).

Originally formed as a four-piece hardcore punk band in 1981 by Diamond (vocals), John Berry (guitar), Yauch (bass) and Kate Schellenbach (drums), the band released their first EP, Polly Wog Stew, in 1982. After achieving moderate local success with the 1983 experimental hip hop record "Cooky Puss", the group made their transition to hip hop music in 1985 and released a string of successful singles. They toured with Madonna in 1985 and released their debut album, Licensed to Ill, one year later. The group has sold 22 million albums in the United States and 40 millon albums worldwide.

With seven platinum or better albums from 1986-2004, the Beastie Boys are one of the longest-lived hip hop acts worldwide, and they continued to enjoy commercial and critical success more than 25 years after the release of Licensed to Ill. In 2009, the group released digitally remastered deluxe editions of their albums Paul's BoutiqueCheck Your HeadIll Communication and Hello Nasty. Their eighth studio album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, was released in 2011, and received positive reviews. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012; the third hip hop group to enter the Hall after Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five in 2007 and Run-D.M.C. in 2009. The following month, MCA died of cancer of the parotid salivary gland.


Main article: Beastie Boys discography