Adam Yauch photographed by Ari Marcopoulos
In 2004 I wrote a feature for The Fader about Beastie Boys. It was supposed to be tied to their album To the 5 Boroughs, but it was really about me and my relationship to these three men who had such an impact on the person that I am. Look backing on it, like anything written almost ten years ago, there are things I wish I had done differently, but the ideas inside it were true then and are true now. The Beastie Boys opened up the world’s cultural possibilities to me and showed me how you can develop as a human being.
These are the last two paragraphs of the piece:
I’ve long maintained that hip-hop won’t get better—whatever “better” means—until someone figures out a better rhyme for “party” than “Bacardi.” For the last two decades, the Beastie Boys have been some of the most likely rappers to stumble upon that holy grail. To me they’ve always been like older, distant cousins: guys I didn’t get to see that often, but when I did, I could learn about cool records, bite a little of their style, and get a sense of how my life should be going in ten or 15 years. Maybe that’s why Check Your Head has been sounding so good lately as I settle down in LA, get a dog and figure out which of my immaturities I want to keep.
Two years ago I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a Sunday in New York when I saw Adam Yauch with his preschool-aged daughter. He was wearing an orange and yellow camouflage sweatshirt with baggy pants. He was about to turn 40, but his outfit didn’t look strange on him. He just looked like how more dads are going to start looking. Well, at least how I probably will.
I’ve been in Los Angeles since 2003, I’m on my second dog, at this point the immaturities I still have I doubt will ever go away. I’ve got two kids, I’m still relatively far from 40, my pants and sweatshits are more form-fitting than they’ve ever been (fashions change).
I hope that I’m as good a dad as Adam Yauch seemed to be that day. And I hope that I bring just a fraction of the inspiration, creativity and compassion to the world that he did.
UPDATE: The FADER published my full story from 2004: http://www.thefader.com/2012/05/04/beastie-boys-new-slang/
Donate to IndiePulse Music Magazine’s Academic and Music Education Scholarship Program HeartBeat4Kids
IndiePulse Music Magazine creates Scholarships to help Youth In Need of assistance to complete their educational goals and stay in school.