Revolutionizing Hip Hop-
The Story Of A Beastie Boy
Left To Right: MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D
The first album I ever owned was The Beastie Boys single. The reason why my taste in music is so eclectic today is because of them. My parents from the 60’s, mainly influenced me in Buddy Holly, Queen, The Eagles, Aerosmith, Bob Marley, Pavarotti and Edith Piaf. My taste is diverse and essentially rather confused. Early 90’s my parents had bought me my first Hi-Fi. Along with a few new CD’s of my choice. I didn’t know much about record stores back then. I’d work in and choose the most eye catching. I figured if they had gone through the effort of making their album look good, then they must be pretty damn good. Although my selection process was basically flawed, my reasoning remains pretty sound. So one of he albums I had picked up that day apart was a compilation of hit singles. My favourite single on ‘Monster Hits’ was The Beastie Boys- [You Gotta] Fight For Your Right [To Party!]. My parents soon regretted ever purchasing me that Hi-Fi and collections of CD’s after weeks and months of absolutely butchering that Beastie Boys song.
I remember actually sitting in class one day, singing the words with such heart and convection.
In retrospect, I was very misunderstood back then. But so were The Beastie Boys.
The Boy Behind The Beast-
Adam Yauch, is not only one of the founding members of The Beastie Boys, he is the original member. He convinced the lads to get on board with his Hardcore Punk band in 1979 to become his headline act for his own 17th birthday in Brooklyn New York. The Boys had an idea, an thought there was more to this thing than just high school gigs. In 1984 they began experimenting with the Hip Hop genre and a year later they had released a number of successful singles with one of the most intriguing Billboard Top 200 careers in the history of hip hop and rap. Adam, diagnosed with cancer in his saliva gland (Apparently. Still waiting for confirmation) just less than three years ago was a dedicated Buddhist and very active philanthropist. Yauch passed away after battling with his cancer on Friday, the 4th of May 2012. Social media lit up with tweets of devastation and messages of condolences to his family and friends.
“I’d just like to say that we, the Beastie Boys, are putting rock and roll back into rock and roll, and doing just what you, the listeners, want to hear! Yeah!”
Adam, was a man, that at just 17 years old, from Brooklyn, NY with two other MC’s and a DJ changed music and revolutionized Hip Hop forever.
Adam Yauch (MCA), Michael Diamond (Mike D), Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) and their DJ Michael Schwartz (Mix Master Mike) went on to prove to the world that white guys can dance and know how to lyrically deliver a hip hop slam dunk although they weren’t always JUST boys. Kate Schellenbach was their original drummer until 1984. They paved the way for artists like Eminem, Vanilla Ice, Travie McCoy and Joel Madden. It is no surprise that they were inducted into the Rock ‘N Roll Hall Of Fame this year, on April 14th 2012 as they were the longest standing Rap/ Hip Hop group which makes up one of the three Hip Hop acts to have ever been presented with such an honourable accolade. One of their greatest collaborations, I feel is their time and purpose spent with RUN DMC. Together they showed the world that colour has nothing to do with making great music and both acts were equally as dedicated to conceiving amazing music.
It goes without saying that Adam, at just age 47 had done the impossible. A white rapper? Who knew. Ultimately he merged two worlds, that were always seen as too toxic for one another. He made those worlds collide and he made them appreciate each other. One of the biggest reasons I love photography are The Beastie Boys. They made me love the Fish-Eye lens and it’ll always be in fashion for me. It should named ‘The Beastie Lens’ for future reference. Here are some great tributes to remember Adam by or if you’re not familiar with them, take a look. You won’t be disappointed.
Below is a tribute to MCA, 4th of May 2012 by Coldplay.