You know how you can just stop listening to a musician you loved so much before? Or you have cycles with different genres of music? Well, the Beastie Boys are a constant, one of the top ten influential groups of my life…… my interest never waning….. When Adam Yauch became a Buddhist, the Beastie Boys became socially conscious but never unrecognizable. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, where they belong!
My cousin called to reminisce about high school memories….. I remember when the Beastie Boys first hit the scene… (the hip-hop scene, not the hardcore punk scene, I was still too young.) Instantly, I loved their unique style and their camaraderie. I already loved Run-DMC and LL Cool J…. growing up in NYC, how could you not be exposed to some rap music? They were ALL from NY at that time…. (Thank You Rick Rubin!!!!!)
MCA was from Brooklyn…. “I come from Brooklyn, cause that’s where I’m from.” Yauch, Diamond, Horovitz…. NO ONE comes close to their style. NO ONE gets me on my feet to do the wop. (A popular urban dance move from the 80’s.) In the beginning, for me, they simply represented pranks, partying, acting a fool, and having a good time, but they were raunchy, too. Yeah girls can be crazy, but five girls at a time? Never believed it. Although…….
(Random story: My friend worked for the NBA… after a Knicks/Minnesota game…. Prince invited them all to Paisley Park….. at some point, Peter watched The Purple One disappear upstairs for the rest of the night with a few women….. speaking of odd and Prince, check out an Evening with Kevin Smith … HILARIOUS when he talks about his interactions with His Royal Badness…)
The guns they were packing? Please! Taking drugs? Couldn’t see it. The drinking? Now, that was plausible! But, I just knew it was all in jest and I could laugh along. What was their initial appeal? The mix of rap, rock, the mixing, the samples, references to NYC, boasting about their unique rhyming skills……
“4 and 3 and 2 and 1, and when I’m on the mike, you suckers run, down with Ad-Rock and Mike D and you ain’t and I got more juice than Picasso got paints… got rhymes that are rough and rhymes that are slick…. I’m not surprised your on my d…”
An excerpt from an article:
The conversion led him to have second thoughts about the bawdy party-boy image the band portrayed in the 1980s, he told the Boston Globe in 1998.
“I didn’t realize how much harm I was doing back then and I think a lot of rap artists probably don’t realize it now,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “I said a lot of stuff fooling around back then, and I saw it do a lot of harm. I had kids coming up to me and saying, ‘Yo, I listen to your records while I’m smoking dust, man.’ And I’d say, ‘Hey, man, we’re just kidding. I don’t smoke dust.’ People need to be more aware of how they’re affecting people.
The Beastie Boys became so much more than just rap…. Morphing into a mature sound, still VERY true to old school hip-hop roots, but with an updated twist in their lyrical content and sampling. Incorporating a retro feel, like in “Sabotage” and “Make Some Noise,” they managed to keep their Beastie humor intact. They also learned to play their own instruments, always admirable.
I’ll stop here before this turns into a longer post of photos, lyrics, and videos, that are already all over the internet. No extensive tributes this weekend because “No Sleep Till (guitar!!!) ….. Brooklyyyyyyn” is top 25 on playlist….
Born and bred in Brooklyn, the USA, they call me Adam Yauch but I’m MCA…..