By Rob Markman
Adam “MCA” Yauch was more than a musician, he was a culture icon. As a member of the Beastie Boys, Yauch helped blend punk, rock and hip-hop, fusing multiple genres and effectively changing the way people consume music. He died on May 4 after a lengthy battle with cancer, and on June 26, The Source magazine will honor him with a special commemorative cover, and MTV News has the first look.
Slaughterhouse appears on the July issue’s main cover, while Yauch, Ad-Rock and Mike D. grace the special tribute cover. The black-and-white image, originally captured by photographer Sunny Bak in the 1980s, shows MCA on a skateboard, flanked on his left and right by his two bandmates. Inside, The Source interviewed Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons and famed A&R Dante Ross about the Beastie’s musical legacy. ” ’You Gotta Fight For Your Right to Party.’ That record kept us alive,” Simmons told the mag. “There were times when we thought Def Jam’s doors were gonna close if not for the royalties that came from making that record.”
Yauch formed the Beasties back in 1979 while he was still in high school. Though the group started as a punk band, their sound would evolve to adopt styles from hip-hop. They were signed to Def Jam records and in 1984 dropped their classic debut Licensed to Ill. Their contributions to music earned them an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this April.
On the flipside, Shady’s lyrical assassins Slaughterhouse appear with an image inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 crime thriller “Reservoir Dogs.” Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Royce da 5’9″ and Crooked I all appear wearing matching white shirts and black ties in a colorful, four-panel cover shot. In their cover story, Joey talks about his struggle with maintaining a sense of self in the big bad record business. “I almost despise a lot of aspects that come along with this industry. All the red tape. All the politics,” he said. “Everything that is in between me and my direct talent and the fans. The industry will jade you. The a–hole I am today is the man that y’all created.”