Heds and Dreds: The Beastie Boys’ Reggae Jones

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May 7, 2012

Beastie Boys x Lee Perry (1994, 1995, 1998)

Beastie Boys – Sure Shot by BeastieBoys-Official

It’s safe to say there weren’t too many American teens with Lee “Scratch” Perry LPs in early 1994. But then the Beastie Boys dropped Ill Communication. It’s opening tune “Sure Shot” had Ad Rock cryptically boasting “I’m like Lee Perry, I’m very…on” while the ’80s hardcore throwback “Heart Attack Man” kicked off with a baffling sample of Scratch’s “Kentucky Skank.” After Perry appeared on the cover of their short-lived but highly influential magazine, Grand Royal, suddenly everyone we knew were buying dub records. Four years later, meanwhile, the Beasties got Scratch in the studio for Hello Nasty‘s “Dr. Lee, PHD.”