The hip-hop world lost a great last week. Adam Yauch, known as MCA, was one of the triumvirate known as the Beastie Boys, who knocked down so many walls surrounding rap and hip-hop, it’s impossible to even explain in one small post.
But the Beastie Boys broke down another barrier as well, which I remember very distinctly when they became a part of American culture in the 1980s. The Beastie Boys were Jews. All of them. And from Brooklyn, no less! For many of us urban Jewish kids in the 1980s, the Beastie Boys were the first Jewish celebrities we had for us. Our parents had Woody Allen and Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand, and a bunch of old surly men comics who were all products of the Borscht Belt and had changed their names to sound “American.” Read the rest of this entry →