Endless Loop: Shake Your Rump

beastieboysHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Shake Your Rump” by Beastie Boys

In light of an unearthed 27-year old interview with Kurt Cobain that surfaced a few days ago wherein the artist revealed a less than supportive view of white people in rap music, I thought it a good time to put some Beastie Boys on this proverbial endless loop.  Cobain’s opinion wasn’t wrong, thought it was a reflection of the time.  Being that the interview was taken during the era of Vanilla Ice, he had a point.  And while Cobain didn’t say the word, he did note the decades of appropriation, cultural and musical, of white artists spinning their own versions of black music, be it jazz or blues or rock n’ roll or hip-hop, and often profiting from it on a far grander scale than any of the originators ever did.

Appropriation.  I’m kind of divided on the whole topic.  I’ve always felt that an artist should draw inspiration from any source or well available, so long as your soul is in it.  There are all manner of world music elements from across the globe that I find in western pop music that I just adore, and while I guess you could call that cultural appropriation, to me it just feels more like inspiration.  And as far as rap music is concerned, it pissed off and scared suburban parents, so of course white kids were going to be into it.  And it was just a matter of time before they started making it too.  I guess what makes the difference is if you love and have respect for the source material, if you’re appropriating because you feel it in your heart and soul, and not because you’re trying to make a quick buck or be cool or different or something.  Inspiration, not exploitation.  And this is going to sound very ‘90s of me, but at the end of the day, just don’t be a fucking poser.

I think this is maybe why we never heard any of that noise about The Beastie Boys.  It was obvious that they loved the sound.  They loved the art.  They loved the culture.  They loved the music.  And in 1989 with the release of their sophomore album Paul’s Boutique, they began to cement a legacy.  They did it right, and we love them for that.

So, without further ado, let’s “Shake Your Rump.”


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

One Response to Endless Loop: Shake Your Rump
  1. Shawn Reply

    Man, I still can’t believe we live in a world where one of the B-Boys is dead.

    I’ve always been of the mind that when people blast “white” musicians for stealing “black” people’s music/art/whatever, even though they think they are doing something noble, they’re really just underlining the imposed segregation of white/black. People make music, who cares what color you are. Which is more or less what You are saying, so to be clear in no way am I implying that You are saying this.

    Always will be my favorite of their records. Check Your Head is the ‘better’ record, but this one lights up all my awesome receptors as the last hooray of the rude-and-crude B-Boys.

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