Adam Yauch

Beastie Boys – funk-rap group

Hardcore-funk-rap group and style arbiters of alternative culture, formed as a punk band in New York City in 1981 by Adam Yauch and Mike Diamond. Adam Horovitz joined in 1983, and the band began experimenting with hip-hop, recording the jokey phone-prank rap “Cookie Puss.”

Teamed with Def Jam house producer Rick Rubin in 1986, the Beasties released their debut album, Licensed to Ill, melding heavy metal guitar with hip-hop beats and bratty rhymes; fueled by the frat-boy anthem “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)” and vulgar live shows (which included a 20-foot inflatable penis), Licensed to Ill became the first rap album to top the pop charts.

After a financial dispute with Def Jam, the band relocated to Los Angeles and redefined themselves with 1989’s Paul’s Boutique; although a relative financial failure, the album built the Beastie Boys’ critical reputation with a complex, funky weave of eclectic sample… Continue reading