Remembrances on MCA: Cosmo Baker, SFJ, and Questlove
May 7, 2012
With Adam “MCA” Yauch’s prolonged illness and everyone preparing for the worst, it’s not hard to imagine people were collecting their thoughts on MCA and the Beastie Boys for a few years now. And when it happened, the dam burst (in more ways than one), and some damn good writing occurred. Here’s some of the best work we came across.
Cosmo Baker was a young street kid in Philly in the early 1980s, and he remembers vividly what it was like to see Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys sweep through the old Spectrum arena. He took to Twitter and completely flooded his timeline, but he later reposted everything to his blog. “3 dudes on stage covered in Bud dancing in front of an enormous dick saying EVERYTHING THAT WAS IN MY FUCKING MIND!” Enormous dick… yeah you need to read the article.
Sasha Frere-Jones should be a music writer you’re already familiar with, but if you didn’t know, the New Yorker music critic actually went to school with MCA. His first-hand account is a reflection of what it was like to see his buddy blow up from neighborhood hardcore kid to national sensation to humanist.
Finally, here’s Questlove’s remembrance, which is definitely from a different perspective from the other two and focuses a bit more on what it was like being a fan of them, and on how amazing the Beasties’ early 90’s transformation was. “I mean even the beatles imploded 5 years post spiritual enlightenment.” The Roots played for the Beasties’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction earlier last month.
UPDATE: One more to note: Hua Hsu on Grantland focuses on the Beasties after Check Your Head and the virtues of growing up, and especially MCA, “unafraid of going gray”.