January 1987: When Beastie Boys Partied Hard with "Brass Monkey"

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

From the hardcore punk turned hip-hopping trio that brought you Licensed to III, Beastie Boys unleashed "Brass Monkey," the fourth single from their debut album on this day in 1987.

The Rick Rubin-produced track hammered loudly with an unforgivably, undeniably hard 808 beat that captured the Beastie Boys aura in equal parts catchiness and obnoxious cheer. Peaking at 48 on Billboard's Hot 100, the single boasted Mike D, MCA and AD-Rock's anthemic chorus, "Brass Monkey, that funky Monkey! Brass Monkey junkie, That funky Monkey!"

LicensedtoIII

 

Their debut album was titled in reference to the James Bond film, License to Kill, with the album artwork, depicting an airplane driving into a cliff, done by famous collage artist World B Omes. 

By March of 1987, Licensed to III blazed atop Billboard 200, becoming the first rap album to scale to the heights of No. 1 in chart history. For a furious seven weeks straight, the monster smash album partied at the peak, dismantling the likes of chart veterans Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen

Beastie Boys would go on to sell more than nine million copies of their debut album, with a total 73 weeks on the Billboard 200. 

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