Monday, May 7, 2012
ROCK HALL INDUCTIONS: THE BEASTIE BOYS
I've heard that Adam Yauch was admitted into the hospital on the same day that the induction took place. I can only imagine the bittersweet feelings Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond, and Yauch's parents, must have had, being at the ceremony that night.
I remember predicting that Chuck D would be the guy they'd call to induct The B-Boys and I'm glad I was right. Public Enemy had a long history with the Beasties, and he was so passionate about their importance. I was glad that LL Cool J was also part of the induction. Chuck and LL deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame themselves, hopefully sooner rather than later. (Rick Rubin was in the audience as a guest of The Red Hot Chili Peppers: it's interesting that he'd produced the Chilis, the Beasties and Donovan, as well as presenters Chuck, LL, and also Kid Rock who performed. He should also be in the Hall of Fame soon!)
Chuck's speech was predictably longer. But he made great points about how they always stuck together as a team, they were a TEAM of MCs, how they defied expectations and carved their own path. LL's speech was good too: besides pointing out that it was the Beasties who played his demo for Rick Rubin, he also noted that they really brought hip-hop to the suburbs.
Mike and Adam kept it pretty short. I don't know how Adam H. kept it together while reading Yauch's speech for him.
Watching the performance a second time on TV, I liked it a bit better. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wisely asked The Roots to perform at that segment (instead of Paul Shaffer's group, the house band for the rest of the night, and for nearly every ceremony). They were joined by the Beasties' longtime DJ Mixmaster Mike. Black Thought was on the mic, along with Kid Rock and Travie McCoy from the band Gym Class Heroes. Black Thought was a given, he's one of the best MCs in the game and has been since he started. Kid Rock is obviously influenced by the group. I would have gone with someone like Q-Tip, Nas or Mos Def for the third spot though. They pretty much stuck to the hip-hop and rock/rap hybrids. I guess they had limited time, but I thought they should have addressed their instrumental funk prowess (which would be easy for The Roots) and their hardcore punk background (which Mos Def or someone like Henry Rollins could have done). Still, they put together a cool performance and they probably didn't have a lot of time to rehearse it.
If you have a chance to check out this year's Hall of Fame induction ceremony, you should do so, especially if you are a Beastie Boys fan.