The Beastie Boys were a formidable force during the 1980s. As a trio under Def Jam, akin to Run-DMC, with the powerhouse of Rick Rubin behind them, the Beastie Boys took over the East Coast with their hits and shook the scene with their project, License To Ill.
As a rock-inspired New York-based trio, the collective (comprised of Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock) had hard-hitting singles and an edgy aesthetic. However, there is one bubblegum-pop music video that the group inspired heavily.
In 1997, the Danish-Norwegian group Aqua released their novelty bubble-gum pop track ‘Barbie Girl’. The song topped the charts worldwide but is considered by many as an uninspired children’s track. However, its status as a chart-topping anthem meant it needed some appealing visuals.
As such, the group hired the Danish videographer and director, Peder Pedersen. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Pedersen explained how he and Aqua came up with the concept for the ‘Barbie Girl’ music video. One strange fact he unveiled was how the Beastie Boys played a part in the creation of the cheesy visuals.
Opening up about the video, Pederson explained, We had watched Spike Jonze’s video for ‘Sabotage’ by the Beastie Boy. I love those crime movies and exploitation movies that they were referencing. It was an inspiration since it had the Beastie Boys playing characters.”
He continued, “That was a good reference for me to say, ‘If we can go this way and have a kind of irony, we can go a long way.’ Our references for the looks were Hanna-Barbera cartoons like The Flintstones and Scooby–Doo. That made it look different from all the other videos.”
The Beastie Boys 1994 single ‘Sabotage’ featured on their album Ill Communication, which topped the Billboard 200. The video was directed by the legendary director Spike Jonze. You can watch both music videos below.