If you like the Beastie Boys, don’t listen to this album.
That could be the whole review, honestly, but I think it deserves a little more explanation than that. “Polly Wog Stew” was later reissued by the Beastie Boys as “Some Old Bullshit” after they had gone on to greater fame as rap artists, but in the early 1980’s they viewed themselves as a punk rock band. This doesn’t put them entirely out of the hip-hop scene, as there was a LOT of crossover between punk rock and hip-hop in the early 1980’s, and a general “fuck you” aesthetic the underground acts in either one had toward what was making it on the radio. You can hear that F YOU attitude all over songs like “Egg Raid On Mojo.” It’s short, it’s hard, it’s loud, and it’s barely comprehensible. This version of the Beastie Boys is more like the Misfits than hip-hop.
Is “Polly Wog Stew” a historically important record? Absolutely. If you want to know about the origins of the Beastie Boys before they evolved into the multi-platinum, internationally successful rap group both loved and hated by the very scene they came from, you should play it once just to find out how they got their start. After that though if you want to listen to some punk rock, try the Ramones or Misfits instead. This definitely isn’t rap music, and it’s not good punk rock either. It’s the barest bones of what Ad Rock, MCA and Mike D would later become. You can barely recognize them on any of these songs… and that’s really for the best.