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The first album from the Beastie Boys, released in 1986, is still one of best hip hop albums out there today. With No Sleep Till Brooklyn, Brass Monkey, and You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party, how can it not be a success. And with the debut of this album, the Beastie Boys proved to be the kings of samples. Pretty much every track included hits from other familiar songs.

The cover art was also a favorite of mine. The illustration, by World B. Omes, of the plane is really a beautiful drawing. I guess being a fine art student in my day allows me to appreciate it much more than other people. It was done with water soluble crayons and referenced from photographic shots of an airplane. The shading, blending, and colors chosen is what really makes this eye catching. The soft grays shadowed by darker hues and the light neutrals on the cusp of being peachy really showcase the artist’s talent.

The Beastie Boys wanted to express the rock n’ roll lifestyle through this piece, which they did successfully. Once you open the sleeve, you see the plane has actually crashed. The idea is said to be inspired from reading about Led Zeppelin’s luxurious private jet. The album truly does capture a fine piece of art as well as a memorable list of songs we will all continue to love.

Color in Sound: Beastie Boys - Licensed to Ill