My own personal history with the Beastie Boys is minimal/inconsequential, and as such, I defer to those who deeply loved and appreciated their oeuvre. I can’t, for instance, tell you The Young and The Useless blew Public Image off the stage at the Channel, because they didn’t. I had zero to do with the Beastie Boys’ inclusion on Tom Paine’s ‘Speed Trials’ comp. (though I might’ve neglected to deliver their copies in a timely fashion). That said, whether it was due to their genre-redefining recordings, terrific videos or paving the way for the far inferior Vice Magazine, collectively and individually, Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA brought unusual amounts of wit and intelligence to a mainstream often devoid of both. And they poured a bucket of water over Chuck Eddy! OK, it’s not exactly up there with trying to Free Tibet, but I still think it counts for something.
While I sincerely hope Adam Yauch’s final day on this mortal coil was spent doing something other than watching the New York Knicks be throttled by Miami, Yahoo Sports’ Dan Devine reminds us that MCA had logged more than few hours in his lifetime watching and representing the former, in moments high and low.
The Beasties referenced the Knicks a fair amount over the years — “I’m Clyde and I’m rockin’ steady” from “Pass the Mic,” Mike D’s Hawthorne Wingo drop on “B-Boys Makin’ with the Freak-Freak,” the immortal “I got heart like John Starks” line from “Get It Together,” the Latrell Sprewell namecheck and MCA’s own “Would someone on the Knicks please drive the lane?” on the “Hello Nasty” track “Unite,” and probably a ton of other NBA references I’m blanking on as I work this all out — and it made sense, because the Beasties were, are and will be as New York as the name on the front of those Knicks jerseys. Jay-Z’s squad can reference Beasties songs in their merch all they want, but you’ll have a hard time convincing me MCA, like all Knicks fans, would have ever rooted for the Nets, no matter what ZIP code they occupied.
Though I’d be surprised if the Knicks acknowledged Yauch’s passing prior to Game 4, it would be a nice gesture, and one of the few ownership could make that would meet the approval of almost all in attendance (short of the club being put up for sale or James Dolan retiring from music).