• SPIN's May 1992 cover / Photo by Enrique Badulescu

    Living X-Tra Large: A Year With the Beastie Boys

    Back in May 1990, the phone rang, I asked who it was, and an unfamiliar voice said, "Ricky Powell." "As in 'Homeboy throw in the towel Your girl got dicked by Ricky Powell,' Beastie Boys fame?" "Yeah, listen," he said directly, "What's this you're dissing the Beasties in SPIN?" Uh-oh. In my "Hip Hop Map of America" [SPIN, June '90], I had written "L.A., the way, also acts as a rest home for retired rappers Rick Rubin and the Beastie Boys." So I did what any critic would do in that situation: I blamed my editor. This pacified Ricky Powell, and that's a good thing. Because Ricky Powell — part-time photographer, cable-TV personality, substitute teacher, and stand-up comic — is what you might call "the fourth Beastie. "Of course, in the same way there were many "fifth" Beatles, so there are a few fourth Beasties.

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