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Beastie Boys is an American hip hop group from Brooklyn, New York. The group consists of Mike D (Michael Diamond), MCA (Adam Yauch), and Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz). The Beastie Boys began as a hardcore punk group in 1981, first appearing on the compilation cassette New York Thrash with “Riot Fight” and “Beastie”, and later released their first EP, Polly Wog Stew, in 1982. After achieving moderate local success with the 1983 release of their experimental hip-hop 12″ Cooky Puss, they made the transition to hip-hop in 1984 and a string of successful 12″ singles followed by their debut album Licensed to Ill in 1986 which received international critical acclaim and commercial success. As of 2010, they have sold 22 million albums in the United States alone and 40 million albums worldwide.
They are one of the longest lived hip-hop acts worldwide and continue to enjoy commercial and critical success in 2010, more than 20 years after the release of their debut album. On September 27, 2007, they were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2009, the group released digitally remastered deluxe editions of their albums Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head’, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty. The Beastie Boys came together in 1981 as a hardcore punk band. A teenaged Adam Yauch had the idea to start a band and approached friends John Berry, Kate Schellenbach and Michael Diamond (who were locally known to be musically inclined), asking them to join him. The name “Beastie Boys” was suggested by original guitarist John Berry, who had seen the phrase used in the introduction to author Dennis Etchison’s novelization of John Carpenter’s 1980 film The Fog. The initials BB were used due to the bands love for the D.C. hardcore band, Bad Brains. The name “Beastie” stands for “Beings Entering Anarchistic States Towards Internal Excellence,” but this was an afterthought once the band’s name was already Beastie Boys. The band’s original line-up consisted of Adam Yauch on bass, Kate Schellenbach on drums, John Berry on guitar, and Michael Diamond on vocals. Their first gig was at Berry’s house on Yauch’s 17th birthday.