I’m not sure how and where I heard Paul’s Boutique for the first time. I can’t think of anyone in my orbit being a fan of the album. Well, regardless of how the Beastie Boys’ second album came into my orbit, it came into my orbit. And it caused me to reassess my feelings about America’s first successful white rap act.
I mentioned in the “Brass Monkey” entry how I was not feeling the Beasties a ton during the time when Licensed To Ill was topping charts and converting tons of suburban and midwestern kids into hip-hop fans. So I came in with a little bias (although I was already familiar with a few of the album’s singles and enjoyed them). Paul’s Boutique blew-and still blows-my mind.
“Egg Man” is mostly about the very juvenile activity of throwing eggs at people and as such, might be the song on Paul’s Boutique most lyrically in line with the Beastie’s Licensed To Ill persona. However, no song on the Beasties’ debut would ride on a funky snatch of Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly”, nor would a song on Ill have dropped a quick couplet about the idiocy of racism in the midst of all the egg throwing. “You make the mistake and judge a man by his race/You go through life with egg on your face”.
Within the framework of “Egg Man”, that line might seem like a drop in the bucket. But baby steps towards maturity are still steps.