To the 5 Boroughs is the sixth studio album by the Beastie Boys. The album was released on June 14, 2004 internationally, and a day later in the United States. The album debuted #1 on the Billboard 200 with 360,000 copies sold in its first week. To the 5 Boroughs was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 47th Grammy Awards, losing to Kanye West's The College Dropout.
Their single "Ch-Check It Out" debuted on The O.C. in "The Strip" from Season 1, airing on April 28, 2004.
This album has been released with the Copy Control protection system in some regions.
The album was the cause of some controversy with allegations that it installed spyware when inserted into the CD-ROM of a computer. The band has denied this allegation saying there is no copy protection software on the albums sold in the U.S. and in the U.K. While there is Macrovision's CDS-200 copy protection software installed on European copies of the album this is standard practice for all European releases on EMI/Capitol Records released in Europe and it does not install spyware or any form of permanent software.
The album is the first time the Beastie Boys did not work with a co-producer and the second album to feature Mix Master Mike.
As the Beastie Boys were included in the game NBA Street V3, the track "An Open Letter to NYC" was included in its soundtrack.
To the 5 Boroughs has two main themes — a tribute to their home town New York after the September 11 attacks (although, notably, the Twin Towers are on the cover drawing) and a criticism of George W. Bush's presidency.
"An Open Letter to NYC" is built around a sample from the track "Sonic Reducer" by the punk band The Dead Boys from their 1977 album Young, Loud and Snotty.
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