Beastie Boy’s License to Ill is one of the most classic records of all time. Songs like “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” “Fight For Your Right,” “Brass Monkey” “Girls” and “Paul Revere” helped make it the first hip-hop record to top the Billboard charts. Its iconic cover has been mimicked throughout the ages, though it’s hard to think of anyone as big or headline-grabbing as Eminem doing so.
That’s what happened earlier this month with Eminem released his latest LP, a surprise offering called Kamikaze. The record features a private jet very similar to that which graced the cover of License to Ill (albeit as a large metallic blunt), with one notable, characteristically Eminem change: at the base of the plane was the print “FU2,” which accurately foreshadows the lyrical content of this record, which features diss tracks aimed at Tyler, the Creator, Machine Gun Kelly and more.
Despite all the controversy in the ’00s, Eminem somehow still hadn’t learned his lesson and dropped a homophobic slur while attacking Tyler, the Creator (who many speculated, due to lyrical passages on several songs, came out on his last album, the brilliant Flower Boy). Naturally, at some point the two surviving Beasties Boys would be asked about the album.
According to Pitchfork, Ad-Rock and Mike D were in an interview with George Stroumboulopoulos about their memoir Beastie Boys Book and the topic arose. In the interview, they say they didn’t receive any warning that Eminem would be appropriating their artwork for his latest album (which again, was released with no announcement).
“I got maybe 10 text messages, 20 text messages,” said Mike D. “And I’m like, Why do I all of a sudden have like 50 text messages? I better see what’s going on. Everybody’s forwarding me the album cover from, like, the Twitter feed, or whatever. So, that’s how we found out about it.”
You can watch the full interview below. The segment which they speak about the Kamikaze album cover is at the 43:42 mark.