After yet another week shrouded by tragic and early celebrity deaths, the pop music world was forced to join in the mourning with Friday's announcement that founding Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch had passed away at 47 following a three-year cancer battle. So now, just three weeks after the pioneering rap-rock trio was enshrined into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, death strikes again in what could be construed by the extremely conspiracy-minded as a cruel attempt to silence the music. Now, I'm not literally saying some cosmic force in charge of death has something against rock and roll, but let's face it: 2012 has not been thus far kind to several creators of legendary music.
Yauch leaves behind his two Beasties cohorts, Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz, as well as a towering legacy for the innovative blending of seemingly disparate pop music genres. "She's On It" stands as a prime example of this, even if it's as juvenile and posturing as you might expect from three sneering white punks from New York City barely in their twenties. In fact, this unflinching dose of attitude was one of the draws for the early Beastie Boys recordings, saddling the group with a reputation it ultimately worked hard to transcend on later efforts that typically became critical darlings. But this tune deserves respect if nothing else for the rather seamless way it serves as a marker between the Beasties' early NYC hardcore punk roots and its eventual position as critically favored hip-hop dignitaries. Yauch will be missed on several wide cultural levels, many of the same ones the Beastie Boys will continue to inform going forward. That won't block the current requisite sadness, but such a breadth of impact is bound to outlast it at least.
- Listen to "She's On It" & watch the music video here.
- Compare prices on Beastie Boys CDs here.
- Beastie Boys Artist Profile
- Top Punk Rock & Hardcore Artists of the '80s
Single Cover Image Courtesy of Warner Bros.