Not since the day that George Martin
was proclaimed the "5th Beatle" has
there been such controversy over who could be crowned an
honorary member of a band. The controversy today could be
the question: "Who is the fourth Beastie Boy?"
Obvious consideration goes out to Kate
Schellenbach and Rick Rubin
for their contributions on the band's early work, but with
the next generation of Beastie Boys' releases one has to
include Money Mark and Mario
Caldato Jr. into the mix (not to mention that this argument
would be moot without adding names like Biz
Markie and Ricky Powell
into the candidate pool). That leaves us with six names
on the ballot from which to choose only one to be called
"The Fourth Beastie." However it was once pointed
out by fellow Beastie Boys collector, Dustin Harjo, that
one name in particular is often forgotten in this discussion,
Miho Hartori of Cibo Matto.
Miho has appeared on the following
Beastie Boys songs: "Twenty Questions", "I
Don't Know", "Hail Sagan", "Start"
and their cover of the Doors' "Light My Fire".
Miho and Mike D also teamed
up on the Handsome Boy Modeling School song "Metaphysical
( A Good Day)." Adrock even played bass for a few early
Cibo Matto shows in '96. When not working with the Beastie
Boys, Miho has a full time job performing in Cibo Matto.
Miho came to the United States in
the early 1990's. Back in Japan she had been part of the
Tokyo rap unit Kimidori and a former club DJ. Both these
previous work experiences would come in handy down the road
when Miho would meet up with Sean
Lennon's long time love interest Yuka Honda. After meeting
in 1994, Miho and Yuka first teamed up under the name Leitoh
Lychee (translated as "frozen lychee nut"). After
that group didn't work out, Miho and Yuka formed Cibo Matto,
which means "food madness" in Italian. In 1995
they put out two indie singles, "Birthday Cake"
and "Know Your Chicken." It should be noted that
in the video for "Know Your Chicken," Hillary
Snyder used the same electric power lines as props that
he would later re-use in the Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic"
Shortly afterwards in 1996, Cibo
Matto was signed to the Warner Brothers record label and
released Viva! La Woman. Also in 1996, Miho would
team with Yuka Honda, Russell
Simins, Rick Lee and graphic designer Mike Mills under
the band name Butter 08. As one story goes, the group was
the product of a drunken evening spent producing the Cibo
Matto single "Know Your Chicken." The resultant
demo of "Know Your Chicken" was passed by Simins
to Mike D, who immediately signed Butter 08 to the Grand
Royal Records label. In 1997, the Cibo Matto EP Super
Relax followed and then in 1999 the full length Cibo
Matto Stereotype A hit store shelves. More recently,
Miho contributed the successful Gorillaz super-group with
their 2001 self-titled release.