by Sean Maloney
OK, no partying today, because sadly we just got a whole lot of bullshit over the newswire: Beastie Boys' Adam "MCA" Yauch has passed away after an extended battle with cancer. While there isn't a real strong local connection — the best I could find was the picture in the video above, taken at the Belle Meade Kroger when the Boys were in town for Bonnaroo '09 — as a dude in his 30s who writes about hip hop, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a send off to one of the most influential musicians of the last quarter century. Sure, the Beastie Boys are, in the simplest terms, a rap group. But their influence has been felt across all genres (rock, hip-hop, electronic, pop, jazz) and all media (film, television, recorded music). But I don't need to tell you that, because c'mon, it's the Beastie Boys — they defined the way we've partied and the way we've listened to music for more than a generation.
Also, if you've looked at Facebook at all today, then you've seen about a million-and-a-half pieces of Beastie minutiae that prove my point. Case in point: A couple of minutes ago, I posted a link to the song "Beastie Boys" from their very first EP, back when they were still a hardcore band. You know who clicked "like" almost immediately? A dude from a country-rock band and a dude from a hardcore hip-hop act. And you know who else has posted about the sad news? Everyone, from folk singers to financiers, graffiti artists to gangsta rappers and office workers — it's not a stretch to say that the man and his music were universally loved and respected. Yauch was an integral part of changing the American — and possibly the world's — music scene, and for that he will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.
OK, let's get onto the Irish wake portion of this post and watch some damn Beasties videos...