Essential mix: DJ BC’s ‘Ill Submarine’ mixes Beasties and Beatles

Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic

It’s not the most original conceit: blending rappers with the Beatles to create a new work. It’s how Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton first made his name in 2004 with his “Grey Album,’ which mixed a cappella recordings of Jay-Z rapping from his “Black Album” with reworked songs from the Beatles’ self-titled record known as “The White Album.”

But done properly, as DJ BC has with “Ill Submarine,” the results can be a lot of fun. The third volume of his so-called Beastles project once again proves how well-suited the Beatles’ music is for co-opting and transforming. When coupled with the Beastie Boys’ rhymes, the 20 different mash-ups confirm John, Paul, MCA, George, King Ad Rock, Mike D and Ringo to be an utterly convincing supergroup.

The best? “Drive My Car, Thief!” for one, which harnesses George Harrison’s great guitar lead with the Beastie Boys’ “Car Thief.” (Yes, the titles are all pretty silly.) And “Do You Want to Know an Intergalactic Secret?” is self-explanatory if you’re a fan of the acts: the bouncy rhythms of “Do You Want to Know a Secret?” -- especially Ringo’s tight snare snaps -- woven into the robotic rhymes of the Beasties’ “Intergalactic.”


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“Get It All Together Now” soars through not only the funky remix of “All Together Now” but also the arrival of Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, whose flow bounces atop the Beatles’ hand claps and harmonies like they were in the studio together.

Like the earlier Beastles projects “Let It Beast” and “The Beastles,” Atlanta DJ BC doesn’t merely match key and pitch, but massively reworks both the original Beatles tracks and the Beastie Boys’ verbal delivery. This one is dedicated to the memory of the late Adam “MCA” Yauch, and his amazing craft is highlighted throughout. “Don’t Let MCA Down” is the best of them.

More than mere stunt, “Ill Submarine,” is certainly worth the price: It’s a free download, and can be had at the Beastles’ Soundcloud page.

Listen to “Do You Want to Know an Intergalactic Secret?” below.


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