Title: So What'cha Want
Artist: Beastie Boys
Album: Check Your Head
From the first line of this track, you know this isn't your parents' rap. "Just plug me in like I was Eddie Harris" goes the line and you're reaching for your pop reference encyclopedia from the get-go. (FYI, Eddie Harris was a jazz saxophonist known especially for amplifying the saxophone.) The Beastie Boys had already delivered their masterpiece, Paul's Boutique, three years earlier and didn't have anything to prove to anyone. Accordingly, they returned to their punk rock, lo-fi roots on Check Your Head, even playing their own instruments on the entire record for the first time.
"So What'cha Want" has typically clever lyrics you'd expect from the Queens-based rappers ("I've got depth of perception in my text y'all/I get props at my mention 'cause I vex y'all" & "Well they call me mike d the ever loving man/I'm like spoonie gee well I'm the metropolitician/You scream and you holler about my chevy impala/But the sweat is getting wet around the ring around your collar") made all the more interesting under a glaze of distortion and filtering. Even sitting right in front of my speakers, it sounds as though the track is coming from inside a car with the bass pumped up. Great slow groove and a cool video too.
A great track to kick off the week of 1992. Tomorrow, possibly the most influential indie rock record of all time.