To The 5 Boroughs

  • Record Label: Capitol
  • Release Date: Jun 15, 2004
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 73 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 73
  2. Negative: 8 out of 73

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  1. ChrisW
    Jun 21, 2004
    10
    I have been listening to rap since 1984. This could be the last classic rap record to ever be made! This ranks in there with Rap titles such as LL Cool J's Bigger and Deffer, Run DMC's Raising Hell, and even Public Emeny's It Takes A Nation Of Millons... This was how rap was suppossed to be, before the "Every Rapper has got to be a Gangsta" sound happened. 50 Cent is a I have been listening to rap since 1984. This could be the last classic rap record to ever be made! This ranks in there with Rap titles such as LL Cool J's Bigger and Deffer, Run DMC's Raising Hell, and even Public Emeny's It Takes A Nation Of Millons... This was how rap was suppossed to be, before the "Every Rapper has got to be a Gangsta" sound happened. 50 Cent is a carbon copy of D-Nice, but rhymes slower than Mase did. There are virtually no rap groups out there that have staying power anymore. It's all one hit wonders with one line hooks. The majority of rap out there is crap. Pick this CD up and realize what the future of rap should have been. Expand
  2. vampires
    Jun 17, 2004
    10
    The beats are amazing. People should focus on the music and not as much on the message or lyrics.
  3. Chrischris
    Jun 17, 2004
    10
    an instant classic. those dissing it need to start using their entire brains for once.
  4. JoseG
    Jun 22, 2004
    10
    A breath of fresh air in a stale genre.
  5. VincentC
    Jul 9, 2004
    10
    Awesome
  6. thtruuf
    Aug 1, 2004
    10
    How often do YOU hit it? Add it up and it still won't be as monuMental as this! I don't 'hear' m&m up in my crawlspace~!
  7. jamesd
    Aug 14, 2004
    10
    Excellent.
  8. Jerzaj
    Sep 24, 2004
    10
    I find it hard to believe that supposed 'expert' critics are giving this album a sub-par rating. Closed minds should not be critics. The Beastie Boys once again are showing the music world that popular music doesn't have to be 'pop' or copycat rap and hip-hop that we are seeing so much of these days. Thanks for your creativity and energy b-boys... this is one guy I find it hard to believe that supposed 'expert' critics are giving this album a sub-par rating. Closed minds should not be critics. The Beastie Boys once again are showing the music world that popular music doesn't have to be 'pop' or copycat rap and hip-hop that we are seeing so much of these days. Thanks for your creativity and energy b-boys... this is one guy who appreciates it greatly! jerza Expand
  9. TheDude
    Jan 12, 2005
    10
    One of the best hip-hop albums I own. This is my favorite Beastie Boys album to date. I think they are growing up, and speaking their mind.
  10. NastyNas
    Jun 15, 2004
    10
    This album is a nonstop barrage of rhymes without pausing. Beastie Boys left out all the gimmicks this time and just focused on the meat. The result is an all out rap attack assaulting your eardrums until they can't take it anymore and you put on some Enya.
  11. timd
    Jun 16, 2004
    10
    this gets me pissed off that all the reviews say this album sucks, well you know what? you suck. Sure it may not be as good as previous albums but they still got some good rhymes and most people i know like it.
  12. RonR
    Jun 16, 2004
    10
    pure fun, just listen and enjoy, some of the best beats in years. will make a lot of new fans, and keep all the old ones.
  13. BarnyR
    Jun 19, 2004
    10
    The B-Boys are definatly back in a big way with "To the Five Boroughs". This is an awesome return to form here, with the boys doing what they do best: giving you the freshest beats with funny lyrics with references to tons of pop culture trivia. The beats sound simple at first, but listen closely and you will see they are actually quite complex. This is a great breath of fresh air in the The B-Boys are definatly back in a big way with "To the Five Boroughs". This is an awesome return to form here, with the boys doing what they do best: giving you the freshest beats with funny lyrics with references to tons of pop culture trivia. The beats sound simple at first, but listen closely and you will see they are actually quite complex. This is a great breath of fresh air in the current state that hip-hop is in, and who else could give it to you but Beastie Boys? Expand
  14. RobJ
    Sep 25, 2004
    10
    This album is a phenominal compilation of oldschool and new school beastie style, and i love it, anyone who is liek oh their odl stuff it better, i think u are indenial that they can still make good music, however how can u not love the old stuff to :)
  15. OzPettz
    Nov 22, 2004
    10
    Kicking lyrics right to your brain, when you hear this sound you'll be right as rain!
  16. JimPony
    Jun 23, 2004
    9
    True Beasties fans will get this album. The arrangements are stripped down with tougher beats, going back to the "older school" way of doing things. It's not over produced like 99% of the crap that's out today. This is no "Paul's Boutique" by any means, they already schocked the world with that (and people are still trying to catch up), but it is vintage Beastie Boys. And True Beasties fans will get this album. The arrangements are stripped down with tougher beats, going back to the "older school" way of doing things. It's not over produced like 99% of the crap that's out today. This is no "Paul's Boutique" by any means, they already schocked the world with that (and people are still trying to catch up), but it is vintage Beastie Boys. And so what if the lyrics tend to get political in nature; they're not 17 anymore. Did anyone ever tell Chuck D. to stop rhyming about social issues and go back to talking about his Ninety Eight? They don't need to talk about their bling,ho's, dubs and being crunk. This is straight up, playing homage to NYC and the old school. Expand
  17. Hades
    Jun 20, 2004
    9
    Beastie Boys continue their unique assault of the rap scene with this latest album, much trimmed down compared to the more filled to the brim Hello Nasty, this is more basic with the basslines melodies and raps working together in a steady flow whereas their previous effort felt a bit stuffed and complex with so much noise going on. The catchy loops are still there, and the rhymes are Beastie Boys continue their unique assault of the rap scene with this latest album, much trimmed down compared to the more filled to the brim Hello Nasty, this is more basic with the basslines melodies and raps working together in a steady flow whereas their previous effort felt a bit stuffed and complex with so much noise going on. The catchy loops are still there, and the rhymes are still just as good as they've always been. MCA remains one of my favorite rappers of all time with his voice, and the balance between him and the other members is well implemented. The album feels a bit darker than Hello Nasty and Ill Comm. but that isn't a bad thing. At first the newer sound of the album may throw you off with its somewhat dread beats and what not but as you listen to it a couple more times youll find its quite cerebral and an enjoyable rap experience with Mix Master Mike's excellent spinning and mixing prevalent throughout each track, I can't think of a track I find grating on the ears at all. A solid effort. Expand
  18. JoeK
    Jul 3, 2004
    9
    This CD is full of tight beats and clever rhymes! I take issue with all the haters. Who cares about all their political views and how they found their way into the lyrics? They are not forced, and they flow into the overall feel of the album--hardcore positivity. They sound great and BBs are what hip hop is all about! Oh Word!
  19. ScottM
    Jul 4, 2004
    9
    This is a good album. They don't break any new ground with it though. On Boroughs, they stick with the "tried and true" old-school hip hop sound which could be interpreted either as genius or as... old (not fresh). There is enough good songs here to keep one's interest. My favorite is "Triple Trouble" which loops the intro percussion from Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's This is a good album. They don't break any new ground with it though. On Boroughs, they stick with the "tried and true" old-school hip hop sound which could be interpreted either as genius or as... old (not fresh). There is enough good songs here to keep one's interest. My favorite is "Triple Trouble" which loops the intro percussion from Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight". I also like "Crawlspace". It may not be their best album. But I don't find solid agreement among fans on any best Beastie album. The lyrics on Boroughs are hit and miss though. Sometimes they work quite well. But other times you question if they took writing them seriously. They seem to compensate in the beats department. Overall it is still a must have record for true Beastie fans. The politics are an important aspect of the modern Beasties work. They are using their hip hop skills purposefully, and it is what they are really about. It occurred to me that they may be thinking of retiring soon because of the six year hiatus. They may be wanting to be known for other things at this point. Who knows? Maybe they will be cutting records into their eighties, I don't know. Time will tell. Expand
  20. DeanB
    Jun 15, 2004
    9
    This is the Beastie Boys going old skool. The New York-centric lyrics are fresh and funny, and there aint nothing wrong with anti-bush sentiment. This album is keeping it real.
  21. HamishG
    Sep 11, 2004
    9
    On the first couple of listens this album sounded bare and not quite up to the Beasties usual quality. But just like Pauls Boutique, the more you listen, the more it grows. I now believe in is one of their best albums, completely old-school in style but still maintaining that, ahead-of-the-pack feeling that the Beasties always have. "The rhymes are clear, the beats are bold" - as said in On the first couple of listens this album sounded bare and not quite up to the Beasties usual quality. But just like Pauls Boutique, the more you listen, the more it grows. I now believe in is one of their best albums, completely old-school in style but still maintaining that, ahead-of-the-pack feeling that the Beasties always have. "The rhymes are clear, the beats are bold" - as said in Slow and Low. Standout tracks are Triple Trouble, The Brouhaha, Open Letter to NYC, Time to Build, Crawlspace... ...the list goes on. The only 2 songs I dislike on this album are Shazaam! and Right Right Now Now (the latter being release as their 3rd single). But 13 out of 15 ain't bad so get this album if you love the beasties or even just like hip-hop/rap a bit. Fans of Chingy and 50 Cent stay clear though, you won't find any crude meaningless and lyrics here or any offensively flat beats. But that doesn't mean you still can't play this CD loud out you car stereo. Expand
  22. ThorstenD
    Apr 15, 2007
    9
    I like this one very much. Cool, fresh, minimalistic.
  23. smenkharon
    Jun 16, 2004
    9
    This a fantastic album that I did not think the Beasties had left in them after the snoozefest of Hello Nasty. This album has hot, old-school beats and their rhyming is the best it's been in years. MCA's voice has gotten gruffer and sounds excellent here. If you are older than 25, this is the album you hoped they would eventually make!
  24. RyanM.
    Jun 22, 2004
    9
    For the past six years I had told people I disliked the Beastie Boys, strongly disliked at that. This is because the 1998 debacle "Hello Nasty" left a bad taste in my mouth. It was stupid, annoying, shrill and amateurish. I turned on "To the 5 Boroughs" and was amazed. This shit is genius. It's a great blend of awesome beats, good lyrics, politics (good politics at that) and soul. For the past six years I had told people I disliked the Beastie Boys, strongly disliked at that. This is because the 1998 debacle "Hello Nasty" left a bad taste in my mouth. It was stupid, annoying, shrill and amateurish. I turned on "To the 5 Boroughs" and was amazed. This shit is genius. It's a great blend of awesome beats, good lyrics, politics (good politics at that) and soul. Overall, "To the 5 Boroughs" is a breath of fresh air for the Beasties. Expand
  25. Aug 10, 2011
    9
    Don't get all the hate for this album tbh , I really like it. I think its pretty clever all round and has some cracking dialogue presented throughout. classics like: "walk like jabba the hut" , "which one of you shunks took my rhyme book" lol

    I think it flows really well aswell, more so then any other BB album I own. I think regardless of the wait for this it is a great modern album and
    Don't get all the hate for this album tbh , I really like it. I think its pretty clever all round and has some cracking dialogue presented throughout. classics like: "walk like jabba the hut" , "which one of you shunks took my rhyme book" lol

    I think it flows really well aswell, more so then any other BB album I own. I think regardless of the wait for this it is a great modern album and one that has the BB written all over it.
    Expand
  26. LawrenceP
    Jun 17, 2004
    8
    Maybe a little disappointing after a 6 year wait but still a very good Beastie Boys record. "and if you don't like it then hey *u@k you!"
  27. RussellJ.
    Jun 15, 2004
    8
    Definetly a step up. This thing is more than a hell of a lot of fun to listen to, and it feels complete.
  28. PaullyB
    Jun 15, 2004
    8
    Overall, I think the album is a success, however mainstream media will find little to sink its teeth into besides "Ch-Check It Out", as it is easily the albums longest track at about 3 and a half minutes. The Beastie Boys go back to the old school, making this album the most old school hip hop influenced since the genre-redefining "Pauls Boutique", which is unquestionably their Overall, I think the album is a success, however mainstream media will find little to sink its teeth into besides "Ch-Check It Out", as it is easily the albums longest track at about 3 and a half minutes. The Beastie Boys go back to the old school, making this album the most old school hip hop influenced since the genre-redefining "Pauls Boutique", which is unquestionably their masterpiece. The Boys continue to write rhymes that force the listener to have some worldly knowledge about them, however there is nothing here that is really what one would call a party track, which was the Beastie Boys calling card in the past. Its true, the political commentary can be a tad overbearing at times, but as an homage to NYC, you can understand where it comes from. My only real flaw is that its really really short. The entire album clocks in at just over 42 minutes. I feel sort of cheated to have gone 6 years since Hello Nasty and only have 42 minutes of new stuff to show for it. Other than that, this is on par with the rest of their catalogue. A good, if short, effort overall. Expand
  29. dustinh
    Jun 16, 2004
    8
    Me likes it.
  30. CrankzahJW
    Sep 29, 2004
    8
    ch-check it out! it rocked my world. can do better tho.
  31. TonyD
    Jun 19, 2006
    8
    This album was definitely better than a 69. A 7, at the minimum.
  32. j30
    Aug 15, 2011
    8
    Average record comparatively to earlier B-Boys' records, but still awesome. I do miss the instrumental work, but this is just pure Hip-hop record. A love letter of some sort to the city they love, New York City.
  33. andyb
    Aug 23, 2004
    7
    the albium has 3 good songs. 1, 6, 14 overall the lyrics in these songs are very good, the rest of the albium is the tried and true hip hop, definatly more work could of been done for the druming and the sampling seemed very lazy like a weekends effort, save your money buy some house music
  34. xray
    Jun 17, 2004
    7
    As technology progresses music becomes easier to assemble, and it shows on this album with the lack of intensity. I miss the warm analog sounds and musical dedication of check ur head and ill communication. Will this ever return?
  35. VinceH.
    Jun 19, 2004
    7
    A lot of good tracks, but too long and too much filler. This CD EASILY would be one of the best of the year if not for a 2 or 3 songs. Beastie fans will be pleased, but everyone else will be bored.
  36. BitBurn
    Jun 27, 2004
    7
    I like the "back-to-basic" idea but I still feel it could've been better.
  37. mikmakerel
    Jun 15, 2004
    6
    Beasties got no flow left + why did they haveta slam Regina!?!?! Grey cup Babee!
  38. Spider
    Jun 15, 2004
    5
    I hate to say it but this may be the weakest BB album to date. The whole thing sounds tired and a bit confused. I'm not really sure what they were thinking this time. And no killer single like the last two times up.
  39. MarkO
    Jun 17, 2004
    5
    15 versions of the same song is a bit much.
  40. PatrickC
    Aug 19, 2004
    5
    I don't know how anyone can say this is a great album. Its 'alright' but where is the inovation and the Beastie Boys we love? None of their lyrics really do anything for me, neither does the beat programming. It sounds like they wrote it in a weekend with one drum machine and were really lazy about it. Are they scared to do anything we haven't heard before? I know this I don't know how anyone can say this is a great album. Its 'alright' but where is the inovation and the Beastie Boys we love? None of their lyrics really do anything for me, neither does the beat programming. It sounds like they wrote it in a weekend with one drum machine and were really lazy about it. Are they scared to do anything we haven't heard before? I know this might be considered to be 'old-school hip hop style', but the Beasties are better than that. Don't get me wrong I love the Beastie Boys, but can they please do something a little more cutting edge than this! What made the Beastie Boys so wonderful to listen to was the inovation that they had on all their albums prior to 5 Boroughs. Expand
  41. [Anonymous]
    Apr 21, 2005
    5
    For what the old beastie boy albums used to be, this is less than average. Bring Back the old Beastie Boys!
  42. razLdazL
    Jun 17, 2004
    4
    the political spin is hard to swallow - 'specially from the BBoys. Stick to fun rhymes and cool tunes and you'll do better the next time out (unless you're just past your prime and there's no going back)
  43. briand
    Jun 19, 2004
    4
    Worst Beastie album ever! They over do it with there anti-Bush lyrics, and the beats sound like they were made by Michael Moore. The Beasties should go back to being rappers and get out of politics.
  44. Nathan
    Jan 23, 2005
    3
    Very disappointing. Everything up to and including Ill Communication was great. Hello Nasty was alright, but this is just boring. The B-Boys need to bring back those who helped make their previous albums so funky and innovative.
  45. RG.
    Oct 26, 2007
    3
    Very disappointing. Cannot understand why the B-boys have decided to separate their hip-hop personae from their instrumental side - that combination is what made them so interesting, fresh and innovative over the past decade and a half (longer, really), and it's absence is exactly what's made the last 2 CD's so boring.
  46. arnabm
    Mar 29, 2005
    3
    compared to hello nasty, this is a really lazily done album. they sound old and tired on this one. sorry boys.
  47. JamesM
    Jun 16, 2004
    2
    I am a A1 B-boys fan. This album has nothing in it to intrest any pre-"Hello Nasty" fan. I listened to it 3 times, read the lyrics and "Ch-Check it Out" is the only one that was even Ok (probably because I laughed at the Video). I waited six years for something that sounded like it was recorded at my house on the weekend. This review is all I can do to get my $10.00 back.
  48. EricC
    Aug 3, 2004
    0
    Worst album to date. I'd take it back if I could. :(
  49. garenb
    Aug 18, 2004
    0
    wow this sucked
  50. chuckyo
    Jun 16, 2004
    0
    It sucks. I'm tired of rap in general. It's boring.
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. Blender
    60
    This formula wears thin over the 15 cuts here. [#27, p.137]
  2. New Musical Express (NME)
    80
    Like Missy Elliott, the Beasties are reimagining hip-hop--what it was, what it is, what it can be. [12 Jun 2004, p.47]
  3. Q Magazine
    60
    The Beastie Boys have always been at their best when gleefully rhyming and stealing from a variety of sources--both musically and lyrically--and the self-imposed adherence to hip hop traditionalism here, and indeed musically on the album as a whole, rather subdues their famously free-form sonic palette. [Jul 2004, p.108]