The Beastie Boys’ debut album, Licensed To Ill has enjoyed a legacy of rare perfection and now, 29 years after it was released, it joins a prestigious group of rap albums to be certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America.
As of March 4, 2015, the album sold more than 10 million copies underneath the original Def Jam imprint headed by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, who the latter, produced the entire Licensed to Ill album alongside the three-man group from New York City.
Licensed to Ill itself cemented the Beastie Boys (who consisted of Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, Michael “Mike D” Diamond and the late Adam “MCA” Yauch) place in history as it became the first Hip-Hop album to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Charts after its release on November 15, 1986. A year later, it received a platinum certification from the RIAA.
After being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, Yauch passed away a month later after a longtime battle with parotid gland cancer. The remaining members decided to pernamentely disband and have since been in the news for various lawsuits from companies infringing on their copyrights.
Licensed to Ill joins Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show, 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me, Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, MC Hammer’s Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em and The Notorious B.I.G.’s Life After Death as the only other Hip-Hop albums to be certified diamond.
Photos: VEVO, Def Jam