Friday, May 04, 2012

"I Can Blow You Away or You Can Ride With Me"



If you argue with the fact that the Beastie Boys changed the face of hip-hop -- that they've been pioneers, a group always years ahead of their time -- and that Adam "MCA" Yauch was a vital part of that brilliance and ingenuity, there's something very wrong with you.

Thank you for everything, MCA -- you will be sorely missed, man.

Rolling Stone: Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch Dead at 48/5.4.12

Adding...

You're hearing a lot of the same sentiment on Twitter right now regarding the death of MCA: This one hurts. And it does. A lot. Like so many, I can only speak about my personal attachment to the band and its music and, quite frankly, both have been an integral part of my life for 25 years. Imagine that -- 25 years. When I was a senior in high school, Licensed to Ill was the unofficial theme music of my class -- the wild-eyed, balls-out party record that seemed to give us all tacit permission to break every rule imposed by adults with both middle fingers held high. Seeing the Beasties on the Licensed to Ill tour -- at a stop in South Florida in which I had to buy scalped tickets and during which the audience actually pulled pieces of drywall off the back of the arena to fan themselves with because of the intense heat -- remains one of the best concert-going experiences of my life. In college, the band I played in worshiped the Beastie Boys. The college radio station I worked at, WVUM, had a rotating cast of kids who all worshiped the Beastie Boys. The band followed me throughout my life, getting older with me, growing with me, always being great, always being vital, never getting dull and forever being a symbol of my transition from impetuous, arrogant youth to only slightly less impetuous and arrogant adulthood -- they were always there. I realize I'm rambling here, but maybe that'll help make it clear how badly this really does hurt. The Beastie Boys have always been more than a band to me, more than an audaciously powerful force in hip-hop and in music in general. They've felt like mine -- the true voice of my generation. And it's devastating to lose one of them because it feels like losing a friend.

13 comments:

JRBradford said...

fuck...

Iris M said...

And Chris Martin lives. Fuck you, cancer.

Michael said...

I couldent agree more. It feels like one of the true cultural arbiters of my time has just passed. And it hurts. A Beastie Boys concert is something I will forever have to scratch off my bucket list. A very sad day indeed.

Claude Weaver said...

The really awesome thing about the Beastie Boys was that they proved that hip hop, and music in general, is all about being honest. Too many "artists" try to ape what came before to the point of caricature; these guys took the tools and made their own unique sound. And managed to stay not just relevant, but important to at least two music genres for longer than most people have been in school.

Shit, you are right. This fucking HURTS.

Anonymous said...

Amen, preacher. Amen.

ntx said...

Hurts like hell, yes. And now I have to tell my 11-year-old, who loves the Beastie Boys with a passion.

Jim said...

My sentiments exactly Chez. The Beasties were part of the backbone of the soundtrack to my life. I caught a couple of their great shows and they had an untold influence on me over the years. A big loss and a sad day for many today.

Matt Osborne said...

Y'know, I thought of the exact lyric in the title the instant I heard the news.

Kyle said...

I'm one of the legion of white, suburban kids the Beastie Boys introduced to hip hop in the mid-late '80s. And just as you said, they were always there, not only changing with the times, but predicting and guiding those changes. One of a small handful of bands that have never fallen out of my rotation. And yes, it hurts like hell. RIP, Adam.

JohnF said...

Yet that shitheel Ted Nugent is still going strong.
I'm just grateful for the one time I saw the Beasties, back at the old Fabulous Forum.

jrm78 said...

I would surmise that MCA's death is as culturally significant as the death of John Lennon. Mourned not only for the outstanding music that he created, but also mourned for the music he had left in him.

He was a trailblazer, bridge builder, and wall breaker. He will be missed.

Nick said...

Your entire first graph in "The Unbearbale Whiteness of Being" --properly edited to reflect this guy's name/band/etc -- sums up my take on the subject.

robpo said...

OMG. I hadn't seen this. I feel like I need to take the afternoon off work... I was in 8th grade, choir class, a buddy and I would go back and forth rapping the songs from Licensed to Ill. In HS I gravitated more toward Metallica type music, then in college rediscovered Beastie, Check Your Head was the shiznat. Caught their show at Lollapalooza in Minneapolis, in 1994 I believe. Those days cemented a life-long love and loyalty for Beastie. These guys are real musicians. Damn. These old bastards were still making great music. Fuck.