RIP MCA of The Beastie Boys
Like many a white suburban kid, I go way back with the Beastie Boys. I copped that Licensed To Ill a few scant months after the seminal Summer of 1986 in which saw me turn to Hip Hop and never go back. At first I was enthralled. Party rhymes, hooks that made no sense to me at the time, hard beats, and tales of wayward adventures. Gradually as my mainstream classmates extolled the Beasties as the "greatest ever" in rap, I drifted away from the group. Their rhymes now seemed trivial and juvenile in the It Takes A Nation era.
Their second joint, Paul's Boutique brought me back into their fold. It was a literal cosmic slop that had a new turn at every song. (Any Hip Hop fan should pick up the 33 1/3 book on the album; a tremendous read.) Then, bam, they were gone again, and they were seemingly buried in the next few years as the West Coast gangsta scene and East Coast Boom Bap scene overtook the genre. With 92's Check Your Head and 94's Ill Communication, the Beasties reserved their place in Hip Hop as innovators and true purveyors of the culture. "Get It Together" with Q-Tip? C'mon, tell me that doesn't get the head nodding. The Soul Assassins remix of "So'Watcha Want"? Bangin.
The news of MCA's passing has shook Hip Hop to its essence. Check Twitter from the reaction. Was he an icon? You bet. He opened up the scene from a New York thing to the global force it is in 2012. And as a lyricist, I truly believe MCA was the most talented of the "three bad brothers." From his raspy delivery, his ability to jump into a song and utilization of old school call and response rhymes, MCA was the most complete MC in the group.
RIP MCA, get that sleep all the way to Brooklyn and beyond...
Labels: Hip Hop