Anytime an entertainer (actor, musician, novelist, you name it) passes away, it seems the collective culture leaps up and cries, “They were one of my favorites!” See the Internet on Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Davy Jones, Dick Clark, et cetera. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, especially when it’s true. But for every heartfelt fan who feels they’ve lost a close, personal friend (I confess: I was despondent for days following news of Michael Jackson’s death) is someone else who uses the occasion to appear cultured, “in,” or otherwise hip. This has got to stop.
In an act of good faith, let me confess that prior to the passing of the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, I had never heard a single song by the band. Oh sure, I knew who they were. I even knew enough to tell you that they were supposed to be (read: absolutely, entirely) influential to modern hip-hop. Beyond that, though, I’d never consciously listened to anything they’d released.
So to break the cycle of opportunistic Internet mourning, and to rectify the situation of my complete non-coolness, I thought I’d post a few Beastie Boys tracks, as I listen to them for the first time. You’ll find them below. For the record, putting this piece together was a hell of a lot of fun. These guys were authentically awesome, and I feel completely lame for only giving them a chance as part of writing a posthumous blog post. I lose the Internet.