By Chris Rotolo, The Creator
It isn’t often a life changing experience reveals itself so vividly, flaunting its gravity before you while caked in cool shades of neon florescence. But when it does, when the theatrics of it all captivate one in a whirlwind, equal parts vivid reminiscence and crystalline rubbernecking into a once bleak future now altered for the better… it’s completely jovial. And with the sorrowful and untimely passing of the late great Adam “MCA” Yauch yesterday morning, memories of such a moment came rushing back.
Pressed between battle-piss row, or the extensive string of porta johns fashioned only a few yards beyond the tie-dyed entrance to the 2009 Bonnaroo Music & Arts festival grounds, and a sea of humanity 60,000 patrons large, a wave of enlightenment washed over me in the midst of the Beastie Boys Friday evening headlining set. As Mike D called for the beat to drop, the cosmos opened up revealing itself, striking me with and understanding that no matter what sort of toxic illusion your mind can concoct about the universe and what it may hold for you, it’s merely a façade. You live your own life, leave your own signature, nothing is cemented until you allow it to be, and depression is no blanket to rest under. It was as simple as intergalactic planetary.
Maybe that’s a little deep for a Beastie Boys concert (what turned out to be the final Beastie Boys concert); maybe that’s not the storybook location for a life altering realization; but then again, maybe it truly exhibits the power this Hip-Hop collective wielded. The showmanship and Party-Rock artistry, the ability to transcend genres, to put a new guise on a medium recognized for its militant nature; this type of accessibility is something not often achieved, and what’s more, it can shift your worldly position and help you get comfortable again.
Put simply, the Beastie Boys had fun for 30 years, preaching a message of late night brass-monkey drenched promenades to White Castle with an overarching ideology to fight for one’s right to party. This crew broke down social barriers of all sorts, and my personal mental blocks, by developing an image and song writing ability that was relatable to the masses of party-seeking Punk-Rockers, Hip Hop heads, and socially awkward intermediary music enthusiasts, such as myself, alike. They built music careers, and relationships, and family’s, on a philosophy of creative amusement that led them to fame, riches, world travel, and their heads earning guest spots on Futurama…and none of it was in vain.
The Beastie Boys, led by the inspiration for this piece, MCA, put their influence to use, reaching around the globe with its Tibetan Freedom Concerts and Yauch’s personal Milarepa Fund to collect large monetary sums and manufacture awareness about the atrocities taking place in that region.
The outfit attained the highest level of knowledge, a recognition of its purpose in life, treading a path we should all aspire to travel. Most of us are not destined for the cash, and the limelight, but to follow in the footsteps of the Beasties is an attainable goal. Yes, it takes a little work, but the hustle is well worth the outcome when the final discovery is what you’re meant for in this all too short an existence.
With the loss of MCA the Beasty’s three-decade reign of pleasure has come to a close, leaving in its wake a vast catalogue of revelrous rhymes, riot inducing live performances, and one life altering moment for this penman.
So, on behalf of myself, your posse who’s gotten big, and your posse who’s gotten bigger, thanks for everything MCA.