The first time I ever heard and recognized rap, it was from the Beastie Boys. Since I’m old but not that old, this was in the 90’s, after the release of the B-Boys’ first two albums.
Granted, my era of Ill Communication and Hello Nasty is nothing to disregard.
Mix Master Mike, Adam Horovitz, Mike D, and Adam Yauch kept their eclectic music train going well into this decade.
All the members of The Beastie Boys are pivotal, and writing about the demise of one does not come easily.
Little is known about his death except that he was diagnosed with cancer of the salivary gland in 2009 and underwent surgery and radiation. He was 47 years old.
A clue may have been that he did not attend the Beastie’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month, on April 14th with Mike D and Ad Rock (Horovitz).
Twitter blew up with “Rest In Peace” messages from celebrities but this quote from Rick Rubin, producer of Licensed To Ill, really says it all:
“The Beasties opened hip-hop music up to the suburbs, as crazy as they were, they seemed safe to Middle America, in a way black artists hadn’t been up to that time.”