The Original Sample:
Growing up with an older brother definitely has its advantages. He gave me rides before I was old enough to drive. Bought me drinks before I was old enough to drink. Took the blame (albeit unwillingly) before I was old enough to know better. But the biggest perk was being exposed to great music before I was old enough to really appreciate it. He had a wall on his side of the room that was stacked with cassette tapes. And during the mid to late eighties, those cassette tapes became the soundtrack to my childhood — a soundtrack that included tracks from Run DMC’s Raising Hell, EPMD’s Unfinished Business, and Special Ed’s Youngest In Charge. But it is songs from the Beastie Boys’ debut album, Licensed to Ill, which always take me back.
This week, WBS pays tribute to Adam Yauch, better known as as MCA and 1/3 of the Beastie Boys. Earlier this month the world lost MCA. He was a rapper, songwriter, film director, and human rights activist. The Beastie Boys began as a hardcore punk band from 1979-1983. In 1983, the band recorded “Cooky Puss“, their first song which included rap. Due to it’s success, they began incorporating rap into more of their sets and even hired a DJ to do their live shows. That DJ ended up being a guy by the name of Rick Rubin, a NYU student with ambitious dreams of starting a label called Def Jam from his college dorm room. Rick approached the Beastie Boys about producing them for his new label. Two years later, they’re touring with Madonna on her North American Tour. What I admire most about the Beastie Boys was their ability to retain their artistic integrity for so long and all while on a major label. There’s not many hip hop groups, if any at all, that garnered as much commercial and critical success as they did and without compromising their sound.
Adam Yauch left this world so early, but not without leaving his mark both through his music and organizations he founded. And he inspired others to do the same. This quote from him summarizes it all: “I think we’re often led to believe that it’s just celebrities [that] have some ability to effect change but I think that what’s important for us to realize is that everyone of us affects the world constantly through our actions, through our every smallest action, through our every thought, our every word, the way that we interact with other people. We’re constantly affecting the world.”
► Don’t Sleep by jusRaro – Be sure to check out jusRaro’s most recent release, Don’t Sleep. A bulk of the production is handled by Florida producer, David Matin. The 14-track offering also feature two tracks by WBS’s very own PMBeatz, one of which features a verse from our DF fam, M.U.G. Shot.
Featured Beats and Producers:
Beastie Boys – Alive (REMIX) by Hi-Rock (Toronto, Canada)
Tortoise and a Half by Blackph03nix (London, England)
ANYMCA JOINT by Mr. Klimatic (Toledo, OH)
Sunset Bay by Ize (Manila, Philippines)
Ragged by thadizzie1 (San Francisco, CA)
Before the Circus by Sideways (Portland, OR)