“I want to say a little something that’s long overdue / The disrespect to women has got to be through / To all the mothers and sisters and the wives and friends / I want to offer my love and respect till the end.”
– MCA (Adam Yauch), from “Sure Shot”
MEF honors the life of Adam Yauch. Over the course of his remarkable career with the Beastie Boys, Yauch did more than create great music. He also inspired legions of young men and women by speaking out against sexism, homophobia, anti-Muslim bigotry, and his own band’s early frat-party mentality. In the tributes below, bestselling authors Jessica Valenti and David Zirin talk about Yauch’s unforgettable artistry, his political courage, and what he meant to a generation of young activists.
MCA’s Feminist Legacy
by Jessica Valenti | published on TheNation.com
The news of Adam Yauch’s death felt like a punch to the stomach. It wasn’t just because I was a fan. (Though it should tell you something about the level of my love for this band that on the day of Yauch’s death I got an e-mail from an ex I had parted ways with ten years ago checking in on me.) It wasn’t just because—like a lot of people who grew up during a certain time in New York City—the Beastie Boys felt like a cultural touchstone.
For a female hip hop fan—for this female hip hop fan, at least—the Beastie Boys meant so much more. read more …
Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch: Our Ambassador from Atlantis
by David Zirin | published on TheNation.com
I was the 12-year-old Jewish kid on the Upper West Side who played basketball, listened to Kurtis Blow, UTFO and Whodini and was called a “rap nerd” in my overwhelmingly white school. My teachers told my parents that my music, my awkward anger, my awful grades, were just a phase. For me, the Beasties were like a sonic liberation army playing the Battle Hymn of the Misfits.
From the first time I saw them, in the 1985 movie Krush Groove, it was clear: They were Brooklyn, but they were Jewish. They were outsiders, but they were down. If you got the Beastie Boys, it meant you could get underground hip hop, get anti-racism as more than a pose and, f-ck it, get some damn friends. They taught us that you could fit in just by being true to yourself.
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