Originally Posted by Sir SkratchaLot
Here's what I THINK the issue is (pure speculation on my part). I don't know if there's any personal beef there but I'm pretty sure I've heard Mike (and maybe other Beasties or affiliates) basically say they're not into 311's music.
This makes a LOT of sense to me if you view 311 through the spectrum of somebody who's heavily into hip hop (which the Beasties were and are). To hip hop "heads", 311 comes off as a rock band who is sticking its toe in hip hop waters. They rap, but they don't really seem to be ingrained in the hip hop culture. You had a whole string of "rap rock" bands getting play in the early to mid 90s, Limp Biscuit, Sublime, etc., and they were "rapping" but they're not really flowing like an MC would be expected to flow per hip hop standards. My take was always that the college alternative crowd (who didn't really know shit about rap) loved 311, but I don't remember 311 ever getting embraced or even mentioned in the hip hop world. You weren't seeing 311 in Source magazine or anything like that. Red Alert and Kid Capri were not playing their records. Most hip hop fans in the 90s (that I knew) resented 311 because they came off as trying to capitalize on hip hop without paying dues. Now, I'm not saying any of this is true or fair. I seriously doubt 311's critics ever listened to much of their music. They just seemed like outsiders based on the way they were trying to rap and therefore pigeonholed as the white dudes trying to make a buck off of rap music.
The Beasties, on the other hand, were eventually able to ride that line between punk rock and rap really well. They were originally a hardcore band, but they also knew how to flow on the mic and paid their dues. You're not going to hear many hip hop godfathers saying 311 were great MCs, but you'll hear people like Run DMC, Jay Z, Chuck D, etc. give much respect to the Beastie Boys. So you have bands like 311 come on the scene in the mid 90s and the alternative college rock scene is lumping them in with the Beastie Boys, but the hip hop world looks at 311 as exploiting the culture. This is a sore spot wit the Beasties who've been accused of the same thing but are finally getting their due respect. I wonder whether the Beasties were so close to that line themselves that they didn't want to be associated with 311, Limp Biscuit, etc. because it would shed bad light on them.
The other thing is that I assume the Beasties felt like these "rap-rock" bands were biting their style. The Beasties music organically grew into a mesh of punk, rap and soul styles that worked really well. It almost seemed like things naturally fell into place and they created new styles by being themselves. So, when Check Your Head blew up and it seemed like every rock band wanted to rap and have a DJ now (because that's what was considered "cool" at the time) I'm sure the Beasties felt like these rap-rock acts were biting their stuff.
So, there's my theory anyway.
When 311 came out I was deeply steeped in hip hop. I loved their shit. Smashing together genres was so much fun for me then. I never even thought of them as a hip hop act. They were not hip hop to me, or trying to cash in. They fell into (amazingly diverse) groups like Mr Bungle, Camper Van Beethoven, and Urban Dance Squad who were cross pollinating. Memories... Love them.
I don't think that I have bothered to see what any of those guys have been up to for over 20 years, but I enjoyed it at the time.