Monday, 7 May 2012

A slightly overdue tribute to Adam Yauch.

If someone had told me two years ago that the death of MCA would depress me quite as much as the death of Amy Winehouse did, I wouldn’t have believed them -  I’m a girl from suburban London, just like Amy.

Yet it did. The Beasties have always had a special place in my heart though, as one of the few hip hop groups to be played in the car and all my family be happy, as the group that combined the DIY attitude that goes with their hardcore punk days with the future of hip hop by joining major labels, yet still managing to keep complete creative control.

I’d kept saying to myself for the past few years, as soon as MCA is healthy and they come to London, I’d bunk a lesson to ensure I grab those tickets at nine am release. After all, this implied I’d have the opportunity. The cancer was treatable.

The reason I held and still will hold MCA in such high esteem, was his ability to grow as a person, to admit his mistakes, and apologise for them. Hip hop still has a problem with misogyny and homophobia, and perhaps will for many years to come, but the Beasties, particularly MCA, grew as people away from this. They were the first in hip hop to apologise for the hatred they unwittingly brought with them -  ‘Fight For Your Right’ was intended to satirise the attitudes of songs like ‘Smoking in the Boys Room,’ yet became an anthem for those with these party-hard attitudes. In fact, his first line in ‘Sure Shot’ was “I wanna say a little something that’s long overdue / The disrespect to women has got to be through.”

 The transition Yauch made within the space of a few years, from a boy to a man, was evident from the release of ‘Sure Shot’ onwards. From here on, he went on to use his influence to do what he could to try to correct not only his own mistakes, but to use his it to help others with the organising of the Tibetan Freedom Concert. He used opportunities he had to educate people about injustice, and to make them question their own attitudes and prejudices.

R.I.P Adam. You'll be sorely missed.

View from 6:30 onwards - MCA dropping truth bombs at the VMAs

Some early Beasties, from their hardcore era.

Beastie Boys - Girls

MCA - I Don't Know

 Beastie Boys - Intergalactic

A x

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