Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Monday, May 7, 2012

R.I.P. MCA: A Selection of the Beastie Boys' Greatest Works

Posted By on Mon, May 7, 2012 at 9:10 AM


In all likelihood, you've spent the weekend doing exactly the same thing we did -- trying to come to terms with the loss of Adam "MCA" Yauch and getting together with friends for Beastie Boys parties in his memory, trying to imagine the musical landscape without the trio.

Truthfully, it's hard to think of another group so consistently cutting edge and, well, so damn cool. No one sounded like the Beastie Boys before they existed, and it is highly unlikely that anyone will sound like them ever again. Trying to imagine a Beastie Boys without MCA is like trying to imagine the Beatles without Paul McCartney -- it just wouldn't work.

The loss of any young family man is always going to be tragic, but the loss of Adam Yauch is somehow a little more heartbreaking, because he clearly had so much more to give the world. In his honor, and for your enjoyment then, we'd like to present our take on the Beastie Boys' finest musical moments. Thank you MCA. And thank you Mike D and Ad-Rock -- our hearts go out to you at this devastating time.


This one is up first because of that bassline -- MCA rules the entire song. When this Spike Jonze-directed video first came out, no one had seen anything like it. The clip quickly went into heavy rotation on MTV -- which was quite the feat for a song with this much screaming involved. The '70s cop show parody was so hilarious and so right-on that hundreds of parodies of the parody followed. We can't help but think that 2004's Anchorman borrowed from it, too.

"Fight For Your Right (Revisited)"

Most of us had no idea how sick MCA was. How could we have known, when just last year he directed this: probably one of the single greatest -- and most cameo-laden -- music videos ever made. The decision to cast Seth Rogen as Mike D, Elijah Wood as Ad-Rock, and Danny McBride as MCA was a stroke of genius... as was almost everything else that happened in this 30-minute epic, from Will Ferrell's cowbell solo to David Cross appearing as Yauch's alter-ego, Nathaniel Hornblower. There are so many levels of awesome here, you have to watch it several times to even grasp it all.

"So What'cha Want"

It's remarkable to look back on now, but "So What'cha Want" came out in 1992. 1992! Listen to this thing, look how the B-Boys are dressed in the video, and just marvel at the fact that three years later, all the cool kids looked exactly like this -- they just had to come out of their rocker phases first and catch the fuck up. The Check Your Head album was remarkably ahead of its time -- and this video offers a snapshot of just how much.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Rae Alexandra


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"