Is the Beastie Boy’s ‘Licensed to Ill’ the Soundtrack to Brooklyn’s Re-emergence?

Brooklyn, a named that can be recognized around the world, from Beavertown, Oregon to Tokyo, Japan. The birthing grounds for hip hop greats Jay-Z & The Notorious B.I.G. A place that is known for it’s rough exterior and a city that embodies traditions, soul, and a loud spirit. A place where the people are upfront has been in the past few years overshadowed by New York’s artistic and upscaled neighborhoods, such as SoHo, Chelsea, TriBeCa, and Greenwich Village. The neighborhoods that many entrepreneurs would dream of opening up shop and pursuing the allure of success. I’m not sure what happened to push Brooklyn to back of many people’s minds, maybe it was the change of the times and one neighborhood’s stubbornness to remain true to their history but someone or something stepped up and said “it’s time”. Well one dayI was listening to ‘Licensed to Ill’ and the feel of the album reminded me of the feel how Brooklyn is today and the promise for it’s future.

Rhymin and Stealin

The rebellious tone of the song matches much of the attitudes of the artists that we starting to see come from the area. Artists like Flatbush Zombies definitely embody some of the spirit of this song. Brooklyn has not been immune to the rockstar hip hop artist mentality either and just walking down the streets with this song in your ears remind you of that.


On my recent trips to the Brooklyn I have noticed something that changed over the years, yup it’s the girls. The women are more individualized compared to back in the day. The styles are unique and some are carefree. Skinny jeans are in full effect and for good reason, ya-ming!

No Steep Till Brooklyn

The Hip Hop Festival, indie pop-up shops, extremely detailed building tags, and the Barclays Center and more. Daytime and Nighttime sprawling with unparalleled energy.

Hold It Now, Hit It

The beat to this song is something that I think matches the feel of the environment as you walk around Williamsburg and start to make your way down to Brooklyn Bridge area. It’s kind of festive and funky fresh.

A lot of the elements in the album really yell out Brooklyn. Their whole style was up in your face. But there was some calm portions to it that bring you closer to where Brooklyn is today. It’s in a transition state and the pinnacle has not been reached. Licensed to Ill was different and this new Brooklyn will be different as well. If you haven’t experience it for yourself, I highly recommended making the trip to NYC and jumping across the bridge.

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