Beastie Boys’ "License To Ill" Masters Are Missing According To Mike D
The master tapes of the classic Beastie Boys record, License to Ill may be lost forever. The group's iconic debut album has been certified Diamond since 2015 and is a staple in their discography, but according to Mike D, he cannot find the album's masters anywhere.
In the newest episode of his Apple Music podcast, The Echo Chamber, Mike D brought on fellow rap legends Ice Cube and Q-Tip. In response to Q-Tip’s question about whether Mike D has his masters or not, he answered on air, saying “No, License To Ill, we don’t have. License To Ill, like nobody can find. I’m not even lying. Def Jam’s shit is all fucked up. Nobody can find anything. Nobody can find it, literally, nobody can find shit.”
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While License to Ill may be gone, all is not lost. The group is still in possession of the masters for Paul’s Boutique, their highly acclaimed second album. Mike D said, “I don’t know (if) we ever digitized it, but we have it on like two-inch tape.”
Ice Cube took the time to comment on the Beastie Boys influence on NWA’s music, “You had a big influence on us, especially our early records.” Cube also specifically referenced the record My Posse, telling Mike D “You’d be like, those kids are biting us. They’re biting the Beastie Boys.”
You can find the entire interview, as well as previous episodes on iTunes.