According to Hip Hop legend, The Beastie Boys were decked out in full-length, matching pool suits when Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons first saw them perform. While they thankfully ditched what Mike D once referred to as the “Menudo look,” ill visuals have remained a big part of the Beastie Boys aesthetic over the years.
“They thought they had to put on their costumes to be rappers,” Simmons told VH1 in regard to his early thoughts about Mike D, Ad Rock and MCA. “’They must dress in blackface,’ that’s what I was thinking. It was really insulting. But I thought they had talent. They went back to their dungarees, and Run DMC taught them a lot about what works.”
For those who have followed the Beastie Boys since then, it’s apparent they took the baton and ran with it in terms of sharing some of their crazy visual ideas. In addition to some groundbreaking work with Spike Jonze (“Sabotage,” “Sure Shot”), MCA moved behind the lens and began using the alias Nathaniel Hornblower.
This week’s “Throwback Thursday” selection, “Intergalactic” was named the Best Hip Hop Video during 1999’s MTV Video Music Awards. In addition to snagging MTV’s signature “Moon Man” award, the trio would win two Grammy Awards for the Hello Nasty album that spawned “Intergalactic.” The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences award the Beastie Boys Grammys for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.