On May 4th, 2012, Adam “MCA” Yauch passed away.
For some, it was the death of a grand musical artist. Many may not understand that MCA was more than an emcee. In fact, he was a guitarist, keyboardist, and even a video director known as Nathaniel Hornblower. He was also a devout Buddhist that started the Tibet Freedom Concert. In addition, he made sure to take his visions to a grander scale by starting Oscilloscope Laboratories, his film company. In full understanding, it can be easily seen that MCA was a renaissance artist.
For me, however, it was a statement of a genius that wasn’t totally recognized. Many of us do recognize The Beastie Boys for the great things they have done in music. However, they have not totally come to grips with the everlasting effect they themselves have had on the world’s landscape. There are certain popular situations that wouldn’t even exist without them. Also, they have paved the way for musical experimentation and actualization. With further review, I will break down just how deep their musical mentorship goes.
To Be Cleared Like Samples
The Beastie Boys took sampling-mania to another level with the release of Paul’s Boutique. Constructed by The Dust Brothers, Paul’s Boutique is a myriad of eclectic yet funky portions of music from over 100 songs. In fact, the last track on the album samples about 24 songs. With much adulation, sample clearance issues, and notoriety, Paul’s Boutique separated The Beastie Boys from their “frat rap” label. Conclusively, Paul’s Boutique gave inspiration to many artists to make the most of any and every sample that there is to find.
Don’t believe me? Just ask Chuck D and DJ Shadow how they feel about this album.
Quizzically, The Beastie Boys have even become the object of their inspiration. Their song “The New Style” from Licensed to Ill has been sampled numerous times. Also, an eclectic array of artists from Beck to even Weird Al Yankovich has made use of the music the guys have made. The Pharcyde even made a worthy single of sampling AD Rock’s voice on “Drop”, accompanied by an ever-whimsical video. So, it is safe to say that plenty of artists have taken a sample platter of the sample kings’ work.
The Hip Hop Hybrid Kids
After the adventure labeled Paul’s Boutique came about, The Beastie Boys went smack dab back into their rock roots. Check Your Head was birthed from multiple sessions in California that had them playing their own instruments, vibing out, and enjoying the tunes. What came to be was nothing short of sonic goodness. Listeners noticed the carefree rhymes and the instrumental heavy songs. In this musical transformation, The Beastie Boys made it cool to infuse rock fully into hip hop.
Check Your Head not only gained them notoriety, it also birthed more hybrid music later on. If it weren’t for The Beasties, rappers like P.O.S. or groups like Rage Against The Machine may not be as popular. Also, Linkin Park would probably seem like something unfathomable. Many of us acknowledge The Beastie Boys for their over-abundant hip hop influence; still, their rap-rock influence is just as important.
The Beastie Boys have plenty of accolades to go along with their career. However, people need to understand just how profound and impressive this ground is. They could never be considered unsung. Still, the true musical gifts that they brought can be considered to be understated. Thus far, the musical influence of The Beastie Boys has transcended their own imaginations.
Oh, and this is only one part of my dedication to the legends. Stay tuned for part 2.
‘Nuff said and ‘Nuff respect!