Funkiest Jam: The Beastie Boys "Rhymin and Stealin"
Is there a funkier bunch of Caucasians than the Beastie Boys? Probably not. Trying to pick out the funkiest member of an already funky group is challenging in and of itself. Adam Yauch (MCA) stands out for his distinct growling voice, which served as the counterbalance to Ad Rock and Mike D's whinier tones.
The Beasties got their start as a punk band before rebranding themselves as rock-rappers. The debut album Licensed to Ill was peppered with elements of their rock heritage (Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith samples), but it wasn't until Paul's Boutique that the group really embraced the funk; a bewitching brew of obscure musical samples pervaded the release. Initially perceived as a failure because it didn't sell as much as Licensed To Ill, it has since been viewed by many critics as one of the most creative rap albums ever made. Miles Davis has even said that he never got tired of listening to Paul's Boutique. Yes. You read that right: Miles fucking Davis.
In later years Yauch became the Beastie you saw speaking out on social injustices. And it was Yauch's gritty voice you usually heard first on many of their classic records. He was a funky white boy among funky white boys.