Friday, May 4, 2012


Adam Yauch has died of cancer.  This is a pretty serious bummer for me.  Ever since "Paul's Boutique", the Beastie Boys have been in regular rotation in my life.  I've written a tad about Yauch and the B-Boys at this blog in the past, but the frequency of those posts don't even come close the representing how much I dig them. I will really miss him and what he contributed to the Beastie Boys.  Let's just say it:  there is no Beastie Boys now (note the eerie first line in "related post #2).  Serious drag.  Not much more to say.

Related post #1.
Related post #2.


  1. Matt, really sad. You know how much they have meant to me musically.

  2. So sad...listening to B-boys the rest of the day in honor of MCA.

  3. I personally don't get to attached to popular musicians myself. However, it is amazing to see how the B-Boys grew not only musically, but personally. A crude example, from degrading females early on to donating money on their behalf. It is funny how their message changed with time but still rocked it regardless of the message.

    I must say, it was creepy to read your post 2. However, I couldn't agree with you more. I feel that they all possessed musical talent. However, it wasn't classically trained talent, but very instinctive, raw, rough around the edges music that translated very well. I actually think that many of my top instrumental songs are from the Beastie Boys: Song for Junior (actually my ring tone on my phone), Sabrosa (live version), Groove Holmes, etc. etc. They weren't the best musicians, but they knew how to put the funk together. I'm not sure how they can carry on. It will be interesting to see how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame show this weekend pays tribute (already taped and he wasn't there).

    Anywho, my two cents.

  4. Karl - your comments are actually pretty spot on and even kind of touching. I admire people who change/grow old with grace. In order to do so effectively, you have to get to know yourself. I think the B-Boys punk roots served as their conscious. They moved away from that because that sound no longer served them - it didn't represent the cultural stew pot they lived in/soaked in. But then, the goofy rap posturing they showed in "Licensed To Ill" (I actually don't really like that record) wasn't them either. I see their records as a constant evolution to perfect their sound and message - to know themselves. Their last record had rap on it, but I don't think I'd call it a rap record. It was a Beastie Boys record.

    So you're right: they changed a lot. They constantly stripped the bullshit away from their sound and their message, and I love that about them. Like you say, I don't get attached to celebrities much. But I haven't felt this bummed about a celebrity death since D. Boon died. When Watt dies - wow. But for now, long live the B-Boys.

  5. I'm too old to have the kind of cultural connection to the Beastie Boys that you guys do, but I liked them nonetheless (after all, where did you get *Paul's Boutique*, right?). There are two things that attract me even to musicians that I don't necessarily follow: 1) integrity, and 2) the willingness to evolve. There's no question that the Beasties are at the top of the list here.

    I'm not the best person to speak of MCA & the Beasties from a cultural standpoint, but I'll toss in two things from a musical standpoint:

    1) The bass riff on "Sabotage", while simple enough that anyone can play it, is like a classic blues riff recontextualized: MCA took a riff and "sampled" it live & in real time . . . he managed to combine the function of a sample with a blues riff and come out with something different from both. It's not just a good bass line, it's a great musical segment. And, "Sabotage" is one of the great rock songs of all time . . . it's more than just rap rock, it's badass music.

    2) Check the tributes from OG rappers (LL Cool J, Chuck D, Biz Markie, even SCHOOLY fuckin' D), and you know that the Beastie Boys were totally legit. I remember a rap video awards show from a few years back, when they were trotting out the current heart throbs, they switched things up by going old school. They had cameos by people like Rakim (who totally rocked it), Big Daddy Kane, KRS-1, MC Lyte, and a bunch of other people. It was going pretty good, and everyone had a great flow, but then the Beastie Boys came on and blew the place TOTALLY THE FUCK UP! The performance spoke for itself, but the shots of the crowd really said it all: the old school (including Rakim & KRS-1), the mid school (Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Nas), and the new school (whoever the hell they were, I gave up keeping track long before they came along), were all FALLING OUT in the aisles. Rakim himself (one of the original live battle masters) said that no one rocked a live rhyme like the Beastie Boys.

    Peace to MCA & all that connect to him.


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