ROLLING STONE: Adam Yauch, one-third of the pioneering hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, has died at the age of 47, Rolling Stone has learned. Yauch, also known as MCA, had been in treatment for cancer since 2009. The rapper was diagnosed in 2009 after discovering a tumor in his salivary gland.Yauch sat out the Beastie Boys’ induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, and his treatments delayed the release of the group’s most recent album, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2. The Beastie Boys had not performed live since the summer of 2009, and Yauch’s illness prevented the group from appearing in music videos for Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2. Yauch co-founded the Beastie Boys with Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz in 1979. The band started off as a hardcore punk group, but soon began experimenting with hip-hop. MORE
PREVIOUSLY: But Hot Sauce Committee Pt 2 isn’t just one step forward, two steps back. It strikes me as the logical follow-up to 1998’s Hello Nasty, and brings back a ton of authenticity the trio lost with To the 5 Boroughs. Okay, I’ll admit, this album isn’t perfection — the Beasties promised (presumably tongue-firmly-in-cheek) a guest-spot from Bob Dylan that never materialized and they could have crammed a couple more instrumental tracks for my liking — but you can see it from here. MORE
PREVIOUSLY: Beastie Boy Adam Yauch Has Cancer
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following first ran in August of 2007.
I am a student at a small Midwestern college, I never thought the letters to the Penthouse Forum were true until…Heh-heh. Um, you weren’t supposed to see that. In other news, Phawker has been invited to a special Beastie Boys press conference tonight at the Festival Pier in advance of next week’s tonight’s concert. And in the interest of making New Media your bitch work FOR you, dear readers, WE ARE GONNA LET YOU ASK THE BEASTIE BOYS ANYTHING YOU WANT. How many times have you gotten into an argument with your buds about the Beastie Boys — and been, like, If only we could somehow ask the Beastie Boys, then we would finally know once and for all — all the time, right? And now, thanks to the democratizing power of Phawker, you actually can! Just send your questions for the Beastie Boys to FEED@PHAWKER.COM. And then check back here tomorrow to find out how they answered your question. Why? Because we like you.
NO SLEEP ‘TIL BROOKLYN: Beastie Boys, Festival Pier, August 1, 2007
BY JONATHAN VALANIA So as promised, here’s a rough transcript of the Q&A at the Beasties press conference. The assembled press included Dan DeLuca from the Inquirer, Christian Hoard from Rolling Stone, some dude and dudette from Wonkavision, and dude from Gloucester County Times. (Note: We all sat around waiting about an hour for a.d. amorosi to show up — and when he finally did, he sat down for two minutes, checked his cell phone messages and then he left before the press conference even started! Now that is gonzo journalism, folks.)
ME: So I run this blog called Phawker…
AD-ROCK: Oh, you’re Phawker…
ME: [nods] And we ran this contest where readers could send in questions for me to ask you guys, but unfortunately we had the wrong date for the concert and most of the questions where along the lines of “Aren’t they playing TONIGHT?” and “That show is tonight, dumbass” — so my first question is just to confirm that the Beastie Boys concert is tonight, not next week.
MIKE D: Correct.
ME: OK, my next question comes from a Phawker reader who wants to know “When are the Beastie Boys finally gonna put out an official Beastie Boys buzzbee?” Does this mean anything to you guys? What the hell is a buzzbee?
AD-ROCK: It’s a frisbee with a bowl on top and a little compartment on the bottom where you keep your, um, tobacco. You take a puff and throw to your friend.
MIKE D: We have a lot of other merch we are planning to release that are ahead of that in the pipeline.
ME: Such as.
MIKE D: The Bart Simpson Bong.
ME: Wow, you guys got the rights to that?
MIKE D: It’s gonna be a collaborative thing [with Fox.]
DAN DELUCA: [to Ad-Rock] Any new developments in your Scrabble feud with ?uestlove?
AD-ROCK: I don’t wanna talk about that because we finally put it to rest — even though I was winning. He’s a nice guy, and he’s bigger than me. However, I am fast. So if he wants to race me.
MIKE D: I just want to say that we met up with him a couple of weeks ago and it ended with a tight hug.
AD-ROCK: Not tight.
MIKE D: It was pretty tight.
ME: If you could go back in time twentysomething years ago to the beginning of the band, knowing what you know now, would you still call the band Beastie Boys? And if not, what would you have called it instead?
AD-ROCK: Disco Three.*
MCA: [looking off into space wistfully, as if imagining what life would have been like for Disco Three] If we’d had that name, who knows what we could have accomplished…
*Originally the Fat Boys were known as The Disco Three. However, the name was changed after their manager, Charles Stettler, complained about how much the trio ate during an early European tour.