I know I'm late, but I'd like to pay my respects to Adam Yauch, better known to most by the moniker "MCA" of the Beastie Boys. It was sometime last week that I read that MCA passed away and it literally made my heart hurt. Though the Beastie Boys were long passed their prime by the time I was old enough to appreciate hip-hop, they played an integral part in developing my love and adoration for hip-hop music. I still remember the day my mom was cleaning out her closet and gave me the "Licensed to Ill" CD that she found. Outside of the song "Brass Monkey" I knew nothing about the Beastie Boys. That was the first CD that hip-hop CD that I ever owned and learned all the words to. I was obsessed with it. What sucked about being a 12 year old in 2000 was the fact that no one my age knew what the fuck I was talking about when I asked them if they had heard the album "License to Ill" or when I would rap my favorite verses from songs like "Paul Revere or "The New Style". I will always remember hearing a raspy voice spit "Down with Ad-Rock and Mike D and you ain't, and I got more juice than Picasso got paint" and thinking, "I don't know that guy's name, but he's my favorite". It wasn't till later that I learned that voice belonged to MCA. Before Mac Miller, before Eminem, before Vanilla Ice (ha!), the Beastie Boys were the first white people to ever make a name for themselves and be taken seriously in hip-hop. Though Ad-Rock and Mike D were clearly talented lyrically, I always felt like MCA's brovado and grittiness is what put the group over the top, and in many ways, set the president for the "swagger" that's often exuded in today's hip-hop scene.
Thank you Adam. You touched so many people in your life, and I'm honored to have been one of them.
A few years ago when the Beastie Boys had to pull out of the All Points West Festival in Jersey City, Jay-Z filled in and did a tribute for them. I still love this.