Article about Adam Yauch - MCA of the Beastie Boys, dead at 47.Mr. Duez discussed this with many of you today in class. The impact of the Beastie Boys on popular culture, music, and hip hop specifically is remarkable.
When I was growing up near Pittsburgh the Beastie Boys were constantly played in our bedrooms, locker rooms, cars, and boom boxes (yes, we had those!). Along with groups like Run DMC, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy, Rap and then Hip Hop was expanded into the popular culture. The Beasties made this new type of music more popular to a larger number of people because of the way they presented themselves. They were often a satirical and comedic look at the world. Fight for Your Right to Party was not what most thought it to be. It was not "a bad boys anthem" as much as it was a tongue-in-cheek joke about how stupid bad boys looked. It was a parody of party rock songs.
Mike D commented that in an interview with NPR in May 2011, "The only thing that upsets me is that we might have reinforced certain values of some people in our audience when our own values were actually totally different. There were tons of guys singing along to 'Fight for Your Right' who were oblivious to the fact it was a total goof on them."
As a kid that was very similar to these 3 white boys from the northeast, I could relate. My two other friends and I had our little rap sessions of silliness. It was fun. It was interesting. And it was a way to look at and relate to the world that was contagiously entertaining. My rap name was "Double D," of course. David Duez, right? It also could double as "Designated Driver" since I never drank.
This video is from Forbes.com and it is a nice tribute to what the Beastie Boys were and how much impact they have had on today's hip hop world:
And another video that looks at the impact these three had on black culture in America and hip hop in general.