The Beasties repped ‘the soul of a city that no longer exists’

MCA, center. Photo courtesy of Billboard (click it to read more celebrities' tributes to Yauch.)

Warning: if you don’t like articles that romanticize New York of the ’80s… well, dammit, read it anyway. A provocative take on The Beastie Boys, MCA and his legacy by a contemporary, David Zirin, sports editor of The Nation:

“The Beasties were global ambassadors from a lost New York City since smothered under the weight of police violence and gentrification. It was a city that churned out hip hop and basketball legends with arrogant ease. It was a city where the question ‘what do you do’ was less about your job than what you did after work. It was a city where the clubs you could get into were less important than the neighborhoods you could get into — and out of. It was a city where if you could see over the counter, you were getting served. It was a city where a scuffle on 42nd and Broadway might spark and you would not even blink. 

“….Now that New York of the 1980s is as gone as a thirty-five-cent subway ride. Manhattan is an off-shore boutique and Brooklyn is where everyone wants to be and no one can afford to move.”

Read on about the New York that spawned the Beasties, and also about Yauch’s courage and principle: marching at OWS between cancer treatments, denouncing anti-Arab racism at the MTV Video Music Awards. Here’s the link, one more time.