Born and bred Brooklyn the USA
They call me Adam Yauch but I'm MCA
Like a lemon to a lime a lime to a lemon
I sip the def ale with all the fly women
~Beastie Boys, "No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn"
Adam Nathaniel Yauch, a hip-hop pioneer, died last week at the tragically young age of 47. His influence, and his band's, cannot be understated. Rap may not ever have broken into the mainstream American consciousness if not for this groups of bratty, snotty, hilarious white rappers.
Mourners sending out messages (or tweets) of love and sorrow included the likes of Snoop Dogg, Will. I. Am, B-Real, Flea, Chuck Schumer(!), Q-Tip, Marlon Wayans, Ice-T, Kevin Smith, and Moby.
It's a pretty eclectic group, right? White, black, rap, punk, political, apolitical, movie directors, movie stars....
One name is conspicuously absent from the list (which goes on and on). You know, the guy who expressed sympathy for the death of Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and Heavy-D. The guys who is supposed to be the coolest, hippest guy in town.
Oh yeah, that's right. Barack Obama. Not a word to be said to note the passing of one of the geniuses behind one of the most popular, successful, rap trios ever to pick up the mic.
Oh. And did we mention that Adam Yauch was Jewish? So was the rest of the group, Mike Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock).
No doubt Obama, seething with racial and ethnic rage, sees the Beasties as usurpers of what should be an exclusively "black" form of music, despite the fact that not only didn't they ride in on the backs of other established acts, they actually blew the doors wide open for both their predecessors and their musical children
But our president is a simple man, of little intellectual nuance. He sees "rap", "white", and "Jews" all together in a sentence, and immediately thinks "colonial imperialism"!
He should take a lesson in race relations from the people on the list above, all of whom know better than he...
And he should take some lessons in cool from the late MCA:
Now my name is M.C.A. I've got a license to kill/ I think you know what time it is it's time to get ill/ Now what do we have here an outlaw and his beer/ I run this land, you understand I make myself clear."
"Well I'm as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce/ You've got the rhyme and reason but no cause/ Well if you're hot to trot you think you're slicker than grease/ I've got news for you crews you'll be sucking like a leech"
-So What'cha Want?
"Pass me the scalpel, I'll make an incision/ I'll cut off the part of your brain that does the bitching/ Put it in formaldehyde and put it on the shelf/ And you can show it to your friends and say that's my old self"
-Make Some Noise
“If you try to knock me you’ll get mocked / I’ll stir fry you in my wok / Your knees will start shaking and your fingers pop / Like a pinch on the neck from Mr. Spock”