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11:21 AM on 05/07/12
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The Beastie Boys have kinda been a mainstay in my life for the last 25 years. I was 11 when Licensed to Ill came out (yeah, fuckers, I know I'm old), and remember getting that tape and keeping it secret from my parents because there was a news article on how raunchy they were and my parents forbid me from listening to them. If that's not an open invitation to listen to something, I don't know what is :)

They, along with Run DMC, Eric B and Rakim, Public Enemy, NWA, EPMD, and BDP were my intro into hip-hop. Granted, I don't listen to a lot of hip-hop anymore, but when I do, I go back to these groups (aside from a very select few newer artists today).

Paul's Boutique is and will always be my favorite Beasties' record. Although I love all of their stuff (putting Check Your Head and Ill Communication just behind PB), nothing ever topped that record for me. It remains my favorite hip-hop record to this day.

Unlike most groups that stick it out this long, their quality has never really waivered. They've never been afraid to try new things, or to speak out for and against things they're really passionate about. MCA was particularly outspoken, but I never felt he was being preachy - just standing up for what he believed in.

It sucks to think we'll never get anything more from the grand trio. I could always count on somtething fresh every five years or so, and now it's no more. At least I'm glad there's a ton of material I can share with my 9- and 7-year-old boys now, and what's even more fun is that they love it and they get it.
02:57 PM on 05/07/12
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i can still remember hearing Check Your Head at my parents friends BBQ in 1993. I can remember a few years before that sitting on the couch as a child flipping through the channels and coming across "Fight For Your Right" or "Hey Ladies" on Yo Mtv Raps. I can almost smell that old shitty brick apartment in New York, now states away.

I can feel the terror of being the "new kid" when I moved from that apartment a few years after that BBQ. I didn't seem to fit in with all the others. i was a city kid removed and vanquished to the suburbs, they were all richer than me and very uninteresting. I buried myself into Ill Communication and rocked the fuck out in my new larger bedroom to "Sabotage".

fast forward another 4 years and I'm in the summer of a year that has felt like hell. hello nasty comes out, and I get very very very drunk to it. still to this day, when Super Disco Breakin comes on, I just want to party with the utmost reckless abandon. It's just what happens in my guts.

another 3 years goes by, and the towers get knocked down. all the old streets I used to bullshit on now covered in dust made of God knows what, the air filled with that horrible noise, and everyone bursting in panic. kept in the dark, now states away via sparse news reports, as those politicians kept lying their asses off, overall I was just feeling very bitter about the whole thing, as I'm sure most were.

then the Beasties released To The 5 Boroughs, and of course, it again was exactly what I needed to hear. all of the feelings I felt, from being generally unsafe to feeling like I was always being lied to were there, and they were shaking it off, and showing me (and all of us) how to do the same.

that pretty much brings us to today, with the exception of getting stoned and listening to The Mix Up, finding my "born too late" love for the hip hop masterpiece that is Pauls Boutique, laughing hysterically at Fight For Your Right Revisited, or these somewhat still early stages of appreciation for Hot Sauce Pt. 2.

i've spent my life with these 3 guys, I come from where they're from. they've been one of my biggest musical inspirations, and MCA showed me a lot of the life I lead today. they let me know that this isn't forever, it's today, and today ends eventually. the same lines I've heard a million times still make me laugh every time, even if I don't think I can. my biggest regret tho, through all of this, I never got the chance to see them live.

the drum roll in Shake Your Rump, the story of Paul Revere, Nathanial Hörnblowér, the bass line of Sabotage, the dancing robot in Intergalactic, the organ of So Watcha Want. I can just go on and on and on with all the iconic moments these guys have put together. it's just astounding. and yet this whole thing just seems so premature. like they could've done it all over again regardless of age, given the right circumstances.

MCA was so much more than even all the titles he is given can offer. I feel like most people recognize that, and it truly speaks to his nature as a person. I'll certainly miss him, and plan to bring him back to life as often as possible.

Excellent. Nicely done.
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