Your audiobook is waiting…

Beastie Boys Book

Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
5 out of 5 stars (5,009 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Listen in as Ad-Rock and Mike D talk to Audible editors Courtney Reimer and Kat Johnson about how so many great celebrity voices help make the Beastie Boys Book audio pretty fantastic.

I'm just saying, if someone else came out with this book, I would love it.--Adam Horovitz

  • Beastie Boys Book
  • I'm just saying, if someone else came out with this book, I would love it.--Adam Horovitz

Publisher's Summary

A panoramic experience that tells the story of Beastie Boys, an audiobook as unique as the band itself. 

Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardom. Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band. Adam “ADROCK” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond offer revealing and very funny accounts of their transition from teenage punks to budding rappers. For more than 30 years, this band has had an inescapable and indelible influence on popular culture. 

With a style as distinctive and eclectic as a Beastie Boys album, Beastie Boys Book upends the typical music memoir, featuring a collection of voices reminiscent of your favorite mixtape. 

Photo Credit © 1987 Lynn Goldsmith  

Audiobook cast includes: Steve Buscemi / Ada Calhoun / Bobby Cannavale / Exene Cervenka / Roy Choi / Jarvis Cocker / Elvis Costello / Chuck D / Nadia Dajani / Michael Diamond / Snoop Dogg / Will Ferrell / Crosby Fitzgerald / Randy Gardner / Kim Gordon / Josh Hamilton / Adam Horovitz / LL Cool J / Spike Jonze / Pat Kiernan / Talib Kweli / Dave Macklovitch / Rachel Maddow / Tim Meadows / Bette Midler/ Mix Master Mike / Nas / Yoshimi O / Rosie Perez / Amy Poehler / Kelly Reichardt / John C. Reilly / Ian Rogers / Maya Rudolph / Rev Run / Luc Sante / Kate Schellenbach / MC Serch / Chloe Sevigny / Jon Stewart / Ben Stiller / Wanda Sykes / Jeff Tweedy / Philippe Zdar

Advance praise for Beastie Boys Book

“This entertaining look at Beastie Boys history is as innovative and raucous as the band’s music.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“Beastie Boys fans will devour this book, as will anyone interested in the early days of hip-hop, the art/music/street life of New York City in the 1980s, and the alternative-nation zeitgeist of the ’90s.” (Kirkus Reviews)

©2018 Michael Diamond (P)2018 Random House Audio

Editorial Review

They were ill, but they got better

Beastie Boys Book comes at a surprisingly appropriate moment in American culture. All around us, we’re being encouraged to turn a self-critical eye to the way the actions of our youth affected others. The Beastie Boys, original hardcore party animals, started doing this over 20 years ago. They included "long overdue" lyrics about respecting women on 1994’s Ill Communication and wrote an open letter to Time Out New York magazine apologizing for the misogyny and homophobia of their early records in 1999. How in the world did they go from cringeworthy party anthems like Girls to Song for the Man, with lyrics that directly address guys who ogle women in public? I can’t wait to listen to this one to hear it for myself, as reported by the surviving band members and the cast of crazy characters they’ve surrounded themselves with throughout the years. —Scott J., Audible Editor

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,313
  • 4 Stars
    498
  • 3 Stars
    140
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    19

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,100
  • 4 Stars
    370
  • 3 Stars
    113
  • 2 Stars
    37
  • 1 Stars
    29

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,919
  • 4 Stars
    504
  • 3 Stars
    152
  • 2 Stars
    29
  • 1 Stars
    14

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

License to Listen - The Illest Communication

So...

I have been an Audible member since 2007. I have NEVER reviewed a recording before. I HAD to write a review for this.

I am not some major Beastie fan although they are certainly a favorite of mine, but then, I grew up with them. I'm 48 and African-American. I got into hip-hop around the time that they did. I was invested in the same styles, fads, allusions/references that they were. Heck, I even became a Vajrayana Buddhist around the time MCA did.

From a generational standpoint, they were essential; vital. They were the brothers or cousins you had that influenced you while occasionally, you were ahead of them. They grew as you grew and evolved as you did. Then, you have children and you only speak once in a while (by listening to a record here or there) but you KNOW that you wouldn't have been the same without them.

Being black in America is fraught with many things; one of the least talked about and in some ways, most damaging, is that you're never REALLY sure that you are LIKED. Y'know, whether that person 'just put up with you', that the micro-aggression masks the macro-agitation.

The Beastie Boys LOVED black culture; and that means that they LOVED black people. Not is some fetishized way, but were early progenitors of cross-cultural exchange.

You know what it means to know FOR CERTAIN that a powerful, influential group finds a style, a slang, A WAY OF BEING that comes from your diaspora, IMPORTANT?

The Beastie Boys were one of the most creative forces in the then nascent world of hip-hop. They were and are simply GREAT. This book, full of stories read by great folks like Chuck D, Rachel Maddow, Ben Stiller etc., is a testimony to their far-reaching and important hip-hop/ musical/cultural ambassadorship.

I miss MCA. Probably monthly. More than other acts that I possibly love as much (Bowie, Prince). Sometimes, you just know you'd have gotten along with somebody...

This recording is simply wonderful. Laugh out loud funny, pensive, whimsical, wise - I could go on. If you've read this far, you know that I'm saying that you should pick this up. If you're Generation X, it is a must-buy. If you want a slice of life from the 80s on, it is insightful.

One of the best recordings I have ever heard. (I mentioned that I am an O.G. Audible listener, right?!)

Thanks to the authors, the vocals from the wide array of talent and for Audible for giving us such a gift in a time when thoughts of gratitude, cultural appreciation, honesty and growth are in such short supply.

Rest in Peace my Dharma brother MCA. And thanks, FOR ALL OF IT, Mike D and Adam.

152 of 155 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best audiobooks I've ever listened too

I could be described as a casual fan, not a huge fan of the Beastie Boys. This was a fantastic audiobook. The cast of readers from the surviving members and former band mates was great, , and frankly the story of their lives in general to this very day was interesting.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I cried

It’s true. I cried multiple times listening to this book. Both happy and sad tears. This book is utterly amazing. If you call yourself a B Boys fan and don’t listen to this book???
B Boys fan pass revoked!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JG
  • 11-05-18

A Love Letter to Adam Yauch

This book is a must for any fan. It reads like a love letter to Adam Yauch, which I love.. but it's also filled with great stories and process. The readings gave me chills multiple times. By the end, everyone will wish they were cool enough to have noticed the gift that was their last album. They did something only they could do, just as they did with this audiobook.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing!

a delight in every way imaginable. so much to take in, for fans of everything punk, hip hop, NYC and everything in between.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This books makes me so happy and a little sad...

This book is amazing. I love the book's format with not only the authors reading their thoughts and experiences, but also narrators who impacted them or were impacted by them. I had no idea the connections between the Beastie Boys and other artists, which answered so many questions I had regarding my personal music preferences. It's incredible to learn about the huge range of artists who impacted their work and/or were used in their songs.

The book is incredibly funny. As a fan, I think I subconsciously knew they were really funny, but this book proves it. Learning about the impact Beatie Boys had in the early computer/internet days and how their music was used to influence what today we take for granted (e.g., music and information about that music at our fingertips) was so interesting.

Tip: After beginning this book I quickly started keeping Spotify open while listening to the book so I could flip back and forth to hear the music mentioned in the book. It's not just their music but other artists. A fun musical journey...

RIP MCA

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I waited my entire life for this book!

Awesome listen, with some tasty bits of background on songs and the early club life in NYC. Thanks Beastie Boys. RIP Adam Yauch. I'm gonna go make a mix tape now.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

B boys!!!

Best audiobook I’ve ever listened to. I laughed out loud so many times! Great narrators and an amazing story. Run don’t walk to download this book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Aw Yeah...

Just like the McDLT, Beasties keeping the hot side hot, and the cool side cool."

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The music, the band, 80's NYC and so much more!

For those of a certain age / era, this book will bring back vivid memories. Especially for folks (like me) who were in their late teens / early 20’s when the Beasties broke big in the mid / late 1980’s. Their rhymes and beats were so fresh, unique, funny, inane, irreverent, and so much more. They sampled classic rock, oldies and contemporary hip hop tunes in ways that had not been done before and the mixing was phenomenal, especially considering the technology that was available at the time (check out pretty much any track on “Licensed to Ill” (1986)). They started out as a punk band and evolved into a hip hop act. I just loved them and still do. Listening to it then and now, it never gets old.

As far as the book goes, Mike D (Michael Diamond) and Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz) have written a detailed account of their experience, the times and a tribute to their band mate MCA (Adam Yauch) who died in 2012. Given their talent and creativity it was not a surprise to me that the book is well written. But I did not expect such a vivid account of the period, both from a music and general historic perspective. From the early days of Def Jam to the 1980’s club scene in the city, from pre Smorgasburg Brooklyn to the intricacies of making / carrying cassette tapes. The book is a fantastic period piece. I listened to the audio book which is read by Mike D, Ad-Rock and many of their (mostly famous) friends / fans. I actually jumped back and forth between the book and the music, seeing the latter through a new lense, an expanded understanding. I haven’t checked out the hard copy yet but I understand its 500+ pages and packed with pictures, drawings and all sorts of other stuff.

Sadly I never saw the Beasties live. But if you were into them back in the day or now, check out their old vids on youtube. Their MTV style music videos are, by their own admission, fairly unprofessional and not their best work. But the live club / arena stuff and studio cuts are nice and raw. The work of Mix Master Mike was an added bonus (“3 MCs and 1 DJ”, almost forgot).

I know the Beasties were not for everyone. Many of their songs used language / celebrated behavior which was and is unacceptable. Hearing Mike D and Ad-Rock reflect on that period now, as adults, makes me like and respect them even more. They were flying by the seat of their pants back then as many young folks do. Basically, they acted like schmucks at times. I suppose the Beasties resonated with us because we could see ourselves in them, and they in us. The good, the bad and the ugly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful