Label: Def Jam
Release Date: 11/15/1986
Crass, reckless, and sometimes even misogynistic, Licensed to Ill wasn't winning over any conservatives. But in Beastie land, who honestly gives a shit? The Beastie Boys ditched the lame implications of being three white boys from Brooklyn and became the spokespeople for the thrill-seeking youth. They kicked off their legendary career with a manifesto that required massive amounts of fist pumps and badassery.
It was less about the technique (though those backward drums on "Paul Revere" are still pretty critical), but the feelings the Boys brought. Licensed to Ill also holds the distinction of being the first rap album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts. How can you not get ill to that?