Oh, I get it - knapplc is a White Guy from the Midwest so he can't know anything about Rap, is that it?
This is just another case of the Man trying to keep me down. It won't work.
No ... I just thought it was funny.
And for the record, I think information concerning the origin of modern rap music is far too spotty to have anyone claim to be an expert.
As for Knap v. Tiki, I think both bands were pioneers in their own right. The Beastie Boys brought rap/hip hop to a much wider audience by helping to nullify the color barrier ... outside of that, they really didn't do much. Yes, they definitely were unique in their own right. But they didn't change the face of modern music as we know it.
... and by the same token, neither did R.E.M. But I will say that as a whole, R.E.M. is a group of better musical talent than the Beastie Boys (Hell, they might agree). As far as just music goes, R.E.M. definitely takes the cake. "Losing My Religion" is still one of my favorite songs to date, and frankly, I think people will remember R.E.M. better in years to come moreso than the Beastie Boys. What song of theirs is "epic," to say the least? Fight for your right? Girls? No sleep 'till Brooklyn? Let's face it ... I like the Beastie Boys as much as any other college student, but their music did consist generally of shouting in tune and keeping rhythm. Their songs sound the SAME. And their lyrics are ... umm... yeah.
R.E.M. probably should have won, but fell short. I'm not really mad though ... Beastie Boys still left an impression on a great many people, and still do.