I Keep My Rhymes In My Little Black Book

5 May

It’s called Gratitude.

RIP MCA August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012

Rest in Peace Adam Yauch.

I’m pretty sure if you went to high school anytime between 1990 and 1999 that the Beastie Boys helped craft the soundtrack to your life.

The Beastie Boys were musical pioneers, without a doubt. They were a ground breaking trio who changed the way people viewed rap. And Adam Yauch, MCA, was also a director, a visionary and a humanitarian.

I remember the first time I saw the Fight for Your Right video. When I was assigned a claymation video to make in AV class, I argued till I was blue in the face that it had to be recreation of that video.  And it was.

I remember driving around that little town I felt trapped in, up and down the same old roads, listening to the Beastie Boys. Their tapes were always in my glove compartment. I remember winding it back and forth to check, wait, what did he say? What was that lyric? To learn it. To memorize it.

I remember being caked from head to toe in mud at Lollapalloza with my sister and her boyfriend. The Beasties came on stage and the entire place went nuts. It is probably my favorite concert memory. We were all there, soaked, muddy, reeling from the death of Kurt Cobain, and there they were onstage, having the time of their life. And with them so did we. We were renewed. We were a part of something great.

I graduated high school in 1995. My specialty was making mix tapes for people. I made them for everyone. It was my way of communicating all the things I couldn’t say. That’s what music does. Mix tapes meant something in a way that playlists never will. You had to sit there and listen to each song you put on. There was no pointing and clicking. It was a process. An experience. There was thought and feeling that went into it. And I don’t think I made a single mix tape that didn’t have a Beastie Boys song on it. Ill Communication was the soundtrack to my life at one point. I think, maybe it was for all of us.

When Hot Sauce Committee Part II came out, it was like time traveling. There was a homecoming to it. When MCA wasn’t there for the induction at the rock n roll hall of fame, I knew it wasn’t good.

For a book that I’m working on, I have been spending a lot of time remembering 1994. And that includes listening to the music I was listening to then. The music that changed me. That shaped me. That did the talking for me.

So thanks Adam. Thanks for the  rhymes. Thanks for the songs that loop in my head. Thanks for being a real life superstar. You will be missed.

I go on till the crack of dawn. Mowing down MCs like I’m mowin the lawn

What do you think that world owes you.

What’s gonna set you free?

Look inside and you’ll see. When you’ve got so much to say, it’s called Gratitude. And that’s right.

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