I was a bit surprised to hear the news yesterday about Adam Yauch's passing.
I haven't really followed the band much over the last number of years ('Intergalatic' was pretty
much when we parted ways for good). Generally speaking I don't follow any person, band,
author, etc. as a devout fan. So I don't really know much about the band and their members.
But I do know what I like about their music.
When the Beastie Boys first came on the scene, I was already listening to Grandmaster Flash,
Whodini and Run DMC. Rap music for me was fresh, unique and contemporary.
Artists were experimenting at the time with styles and effects and it was a very exciting time for
music. Most of the music I liked (pre-rap) was British rock bands that had already broken up
or died from misadventure. I just wasn't interested in the 'British Invasion' or 'New Wave'.
Along came Rap music.
The one common denominator with all rap music at the time was they were all black artists.
It also felt like it would just always be a form of expression and style of music that
belonged to black artists. When the Beastie Boys released 'Licensed To Ill' in 1986,
they opened the doors for everyone to rap. Unfortunately, it was mostly a silly album.
Childish and misogynistic and generally speaking a bunch of crap (in my opinion).
I was intrigued by this group, but I wasn't impressed yet.
That all changed in 1989 with the release of 'Paul's Boutique'.
If you discard the 3:47 of 'Hey Ladies' - this was brilliant stuff!
It was funny, it had great beats and hilarious samples!
("it's a trip it's got a funky beat and I can bug out to it")
I loved that album and I loved their next release 'Check Your Head'
even more. This album established them as real artists and I was hooked.
However, I mostly drifted apart from the 'Beasties' in the 90's. Maybe they just hit their
peak and I didn't think it could get any better or maybe it was the re-emergence of rock
music with new acts like Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, etc.
To me the Beastie Boys, when they found their way, were
true members of what's considered to be Rap's Golden Age.
I have fond memories of their music.
So it is a sad day for me.
RIP Adam Yauch!
Mr. Grimm & Grete