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Revisiting when The Beastie Boys stormed Letterman with the greatest 'Late Show' performance of all time


Today sadly marks eight years since Beastie Boys founder Adam Yauch passed away. In remembrance of the hip-hop legend, we have had a swim around the Far Out archives and uncovered this absolute gem from when the trio performed on Letterman back in 2004.

The Beastie Boys, such an influential act who bridged the gap between punk and hip-hop, successfully converting fans of each genre. Showcasing how much many of the characteristics of each genre can be melded together, the band would inspire a generation of artists with their uncompromising approach the music.

By the time the pioneering trio made up of Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch, Mike D and Ad-Rock had made their way back on to Letterman for this chaotically wonderful performance of ‘Ch-Check It Out’ in 2004, they had shortly released their sixth record and there were no doubts regarding their importance not only on a musical level but also culturally.

The performance embodies everything that was brilliant about the group. After starting out in the streets, the band close off the roads and emerge from the subway before storming to the stage to deliver a chaotic performance of the highest calibre and is everything that The Beastie Boys represented bundled into four minutes of utter magnificence.

The song, which famously uses heavy samples ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’ by Peggy Lee, was nominated for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the 2005 Grammy Awards which further cemented the band’s legacy in the genre.

Pour a glass in memory of MCA and marvel in this incredible performance by the group at the peak of their powers.