Snowmageddon 2015 didn’t blow up as expected. Brian Josephs is sad French Montana won’t be on the remix.
The uncovered treasure that’s the Roman Coppola-directed “Too Many Rappers” video naturally comes with a sting. It’s clearly incomplete and coincidentally serves as a hard reminder of the unfortunate way the Beastie Boys went out: Accomplished, but unfinished. The synthed-up “Too Many Rappers” “New Reactionaries Version” appeared on Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. As the title suggests, there was supposed to be a companion project plus a tour. But of course, cancer took MCA and fans were left mourning while a trove of unreleased material rested in mystery.
The faint hope that the material will be liberated comes with “Too Many Rappers”’ now public existence. Emphasis on “faint.” What definitely should come with the release is a reminder of what the New York trio was. Unlike many of hip-hop’s exalted, the fulcrum of the Beastie Boys’ legacy isn’t placed on technical and songwriting perfection. It was in their experimentation, their goofball wit, and respect for the culture (“I never die/ Cause death is the cousin of sleep,” MCA says in a line that was originally innocuous). “Too Many Rappers” — found floating on film editor Neal Usatin’s website — doesn’t amplify those traits, but they’re present through the lens of your obligatory old guy, I’ve-seen-it-all-done-it-all video. Beneath the archival footage, you’re simply getting Nas and Beastie Boys broing and mobbing. Sometimes in a supermarket. Sometimes backstage. Take from it what you will: a piece of nostalgia, a memoriam, or immediate entertainment. There’s something for you here.