Basic Background Info

Birth: November 20, 1965
Location: New York, New York
Band: Beastie Boys
Genres: Rap, Hardcore, Punk, Alternative
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician, Producer, Arranger


Michael L. Diamond of New York City is a member of hip hop/punk sensation the Beastie Boys. After briefly attending Vassar College in Pennsylvania, Mike Diamond co-created The Young Aborigines in 1979. After acquiring a bass player two years later, they changed their name to the Beastie Boys and began to evolve away from their punk rock roots. Mike D, MCA (Adam Yauch), and Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz) have consistently been the core of the band. Although Mike D was not the original drummer (that distinction belongs to Kate Shellenbach, now of Luscious Jackson), he later filled the drum seat and also lent his vocal and mixing talents to the band.

The three-man rap group released the Rock Hard EP in 1984 and proceeded to go on tour with the Sex Pistols, Madonna, Run DMC, and LL Cool J. Two years later, License to Ill was a walloping success with favorable reviews and great sales. It went on to become the best selling rap album of the decade. The band embarked on a huge world tour after License to Ill before returning to the studio to record Paul's Boutique. The album was praised for its ingenious use of samples and multi-layering.

For their third album, Check Your Head, all the members actually played instruments (rather than sampling, engineering, etc). The album peaked at #10 on the Billboard charts. 1994's Ill Communication returned the Beastie Boys to Billboardís #1 spot. That year, they headlined Lollapalooza with the Smashing Pumpkins. In 1995, they sold out an arena tour within minutes.

Two years latter, the Boys returned to the recording studio to work on Hello Nasty with a new DJ and a new feel, but a similar spot at the top of the charts. They received two Grammy Awards for Best Alternative Music Album (Hello Nasty), Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group ('Intergalactic') in 1999, and a handful of MTV Video Music Awards including the Video Vanguard Awards and Best Hip Hop Video.

Their 2004 album, To the 5 Boroughs, was full of political messages, particularly related to September 11th. For their next trick, the band changed their tune and recording a purely instrumental album. They released The Mix-Up in 2007 and won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album in 2008.

Aside from his work with Beastie Boys, Mike Diamond has also worked on projects with Mike Watt, Kenny "Tick" Salcido, Cibo Matto, Too Short, and many more. Mike Diamond and the boys formed their own record label, Grand Royal Records, in 1993. The group has also created their own magazine.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1984 Rock Hard EP Beastie Boys
1986 License to Ill Beastie Boys
1989 Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys
1989 Love American Style Beastie Boys
1992 Check Your Head Beastie Boys
1993 Chimera J. Spencer
1994 Ill Communication Beastie Boys
1994 Some Old Bullshit Beastie Boys
1995 Army of Me Bjˆrk
1995 Ball-Hog or Tugboat? Mike Watt
1995 Experimental Remixes Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
1995 Parachute Guster
1995 Pomegranate Poi Dog Pondering
1996 All Frames of the Game Playaz Tryna Strive
1996 The In Sound from Way Out! Beastie Boys
1996 One Hour Mama Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Licker
1996 Small Circle of Friends: A Germs Tribute Various Artists
1996 Special Brew Various Artists
1997 Big Moves The Delinquents
1997 Black Bossalini (a.k.a. Dr. Bomb from Da Bay) Spice 1
1997 Don't Mess Wit Texas Lil' Keke
1997 Good Will Hunting Original Soundtrack
1997 Notorious: Pimps Playas & Hustlas Various Artists
1997 Sky Ballin' Side 2 Syde
1997 Super Relax Cibo Matto
1997 Tibetan Freedom Concert Various Artists
1997 West Coast Bad Boyz, Vol. 1 Various Artists
1998 Original III (Bootlegs) Beastie Boys
1998 Lavish Lifestyles Da Productz
1998 Nationwide: Independence Day Various Artists
1998 Since One Day Just Mello
1998 Still at Large Crime Boss
1998 Hello Nasty Beastie Boys
1999 Bosses Will Be Bosses The Delinquents
1999 Can't Stay Away Too $hort
1999 Don't Get Twisted MC Man
1999 Anthology: The Sounds of Science Beastie Boys
1999 I'm the Bad Guy Badwayz
1999 Lake Berryessa Original Cast Recording
1999 North East West South N.E.W.S.
1999 So...How's Your Girl? Handsome Boy Modeling School
2000 Back to Back Hits (Screwed and Chopped) Big Steve
2000 Black and White Original Soundtrack
2000 D-Game 2000 Big Pokey
2000 I-10 Juggler T-Top
2000 Pushin' Keys on the Under Realla Raw
2001 Ack'n A Azz: Wreckshop Various Artists
2001 Ackin' a Azz' Wreckshop Family
2001 Audio Biography: 1992-2000 Vol. 1 Various Artists
2001 D-Game 2000 (Screwed and Chopped) Big Pokey
2001 Governor Mr. 3-2
2001 In Sound from Way Out! Beastie Boys
2001 Money over Everything Southside Pentagon
2001 Operation Assassination Block Burnaz
2001 Street Legends: Episode 1 Maximillion
2002 Platinum Players Various Artists
2004 To The 5 Boroughs Beastie Boys
2004 United Ghettos of America, Vol. 2 Yukmouth
2005 Solid Gold Hits Beastie Boys
2006 Choklate Choklate
2007 The Mix-Up Beastie Boys
2007 Best of Grand Royal 12's Beastie Boys
2008 Unfinished Business Big Moe
2011 Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 Beastie Boys


  • Mike D's favorite Sonic Youth song is "100%." He says, "It's got all you could ask for in a pop song: interesting, dark, and yet celebratory subject matter. Dual guitar solos. A great vocal from Thurston. And a fine Steve Shelley drum break. The video is heat, too!"

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Brady
Cymbals: Zildjian
Hardware: Drum Workshop Pedals

Pics & Clips