MCA Remembered by Danny Brown, Action Bronson, eXquire and the New Rap Underground

The Beasties were role models to a generation of upstart rappers. We asked some for their thoughts.

Danny Brown / Photo by J.R. Mankoff
Danny Brown / Photo by J.R. Mankoff
WRITTEN BY
SPIN Staff

Beat-reversing, 808-abusing, sample-stacking, pop-culture-flipping models of the alternative spirit, the Beastie Boys have influenced generation after generation of rappers. The young bucks in the New Hip-Hop Underground don't even know a time when the trio wasn't rhyming and stealing on MTV. We asked a few for their thoughts and remembrances...

Danny Brown
"I was super influenced by their music. I still listen to Hello Nasty from time to time and I want to send my condolences to his family. The Beasties are legends in hip-hop and MCA will never be forgotten."

Slim Gravy, A.Dd+
"Most people would never expect that Beastie Boys have impacted Dallas and Texas music, but artists like Big Tuck and UGK have sampled their work for some of their biggest songs. When Paris P and I first started rapping, we wrote to "Intergalactic," which was not easy. That beat opened my ear to writing to diverse sounds. The Licensed to Ill album was our DJ Sober's introduction to hip-hop, so just within our circle, they've influenced two generations of rap fans. MCA's attitude and style was one of the most distinguished. He's an icon whose contributions will impact generations of artists to come."

KOOL A.D., Das Racist
"MCA was multifaceted political artist of oceanic magnitude, I've been a fan since I was a kid."

Mt. Muthafuckin' eXquire
"MCA and the Beasties, in general, were a major influence on me. They just fucked shit up! They represent such a pure rebellious and honest corner of hip-hop. Musically, they were innovative, and visually they blew my mind and really let me know this could be whatever you want it to be. I remember getting laughed at for listening to the Beasties. I never gave a fuck, though."

SpaceGhostPurrp
"God bless him. I'm very sorry for the loss. Bless his family and his soul. I've got a lot of respect for the Beastie Boys and hope they keep their heads up. RIP, MCA."

Fat Tony
"Beasties Boys were one of the very first music groups I ever loved as a little boy. From the moment I saw them on TV playing basketball, having a mini-ramp in their studio, rapping, being sarcastically ridiculous, and giving off heavy punk vibes, I was sold. I can't count the number of times I've obsessed over every little detail of their album Paul's Boutique. An album that is still one of the funniest, most interesting, odd, enjoyable-ass albums I've ever purchased. An album that created its own world within the confines of its packaging, beats, references, and lyrics, which never grow old. And I can't forget the $22 I paid at Sam Goody for the Hello Nasty CD the week it came out — an album I played over and over again in the den on my Sega Saturn 'cause I had no idea where to get a damn CD player as a 10-year-old. It's always terribly sad to see a childhood hero pass away, but the amount of respect that I know will pour in for this well-deserved artist and group cheers me up. Much respect to the Beastie Boys for showing me how to be a fan and why I should be a fan of any artist I appreciate. And thank you for bringing rap music to the money-making mainstream when the world thought it was bullshit."

Ryan Hemsworth
"Growing up, everyone loved the Beastie Boys, from first grade to 12th grade — whether you hated rap, rock, whatever. And I always loved MCA's style the most because he kind of stood in the background; he had a raspy, low voice, he didn't demand anyone's attention, really. Even in, like, third grade I knew that's what cool was."

Action Bronson
"It's a sad day in music. He was a great man from all the stories I've heard about him. He will be missed."

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