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And They Get Respect

Today on Tablet

by
Marc Tracy
October 04, 2011

Amid mostly African-American MCs, an all-Jewish trio called the Beastie Boys put out what must have seemed to be 1986’s unlikeliest hip-hop album, Licensed to Ill. However, with the benefit of a hindsight that takes in hip-hop’s development into overtly political rhymes, then violence-addicted gangsta rap, and finally its current end-of-history stasis, Liel Leibovitz argues today in Tablet Magazine that Mike D, MCA, and Ad-Rock’s insistence on being who they actually were, which happened to be mischievous Jewish stunted adolescents, was the most street thing possible.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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