Well that kind of fucking blows.
Today was supposed to be Star Wars day but instead I’m here reminiscing over classic Beastie Boys and realizing how old I’m getting. By now you've probably already heard the sad news of Adam Yauch's passing.
So my condolences go out to his family, friends, Mike D, and Ad-Rock. Since I don’t think I’ll be able to concentrate on anything else today, I figure I’ll blog about why MCA and the Beastie Boys were so damn awesome.
…Brass monkeys tonight in celebration of his life and the music I grew up on.
9. His Verse in “Sure Shot”
“I want to say a little something that's long overdue/The disrespect to women has got to be through/To all the mothers and sisters and the wives and friends/I want to offer my love and respect to the end,” was his message in ’94 - a prime example of the spirit of hip-hop’s golden era that began to dwindle in the years to follow.
8. Roots in New York Hardcore
Beastie Boys began as a hardcore punk band in 1978, playing with bands like Bad Brans and the Misfits inside some of New York City’s most legendary music venues. The Beastie’s never abandoned their early rock rocks, which remained a strong influence throughout their hip-hop career.
Skateboarding and Beastie Boys just went together. Yauch had skills too, seen here in this ’92 episode of MTV Sports.
He did a guest rap feature on the 1985 pop song “Suspicion” by Brenda K. Starr which I guess is more trivia than a real reason why he was cool. Check him out at around the 3:30 mark.
5. Involvement in Bad Brains Comeback
Yauch was the sole producer of the 2007 Bad Brains album Build a Nation which saw the reunion of the original four members and their first recording of all-new material since ‘95. Build a Nation debuted at #100 on the Billboard 200.
4. Gunnin’ for that #1 Spot
Yauch’s directorial film debut followed eight of the top high school ballers in 2006 and their dreams of making it to the NBA. The result is a pretty emotional documentary centered on one of the world’s most famous streetball courts, Rucker Park, as the next generation of ballers show and prove.
3. Nathanial Hörnblowér
In 1994, Yauch appeared as his alter ego Nathanial Hörnblowér to bomb the MTV Music Video Awards long before ODB stormed the Grammys. Yauch directed many Beastie Boys videos under the moniker Nathanial Hörnblowér and made his television debut by protesting R.E.M.’s win of the Breakthrough Video award which beat out the Spike Jonez-directed “Sabotage.”
A practicing Buddhist, Yauch was a humble activist and worked to raise funds for and promote awareness of the Tibetan independence movement. He co-founded the Milarepa Fund in 1994 and used that year’s Lollapalooza tour to spread his message, followed by the Tibetan Freedom concert in 1996 which raised over $800,000 and lead to many other concerts in the following years.
1. He Predicted the Future