Why Not Spend Some Time This Week in Adam Yauch Park?

Last week was kind of weird and dumb overall, and depending on where you live, your preference of activities and the circles you run with, this weekend was maybe kind of weird and dumb too, if insufferable and probably racist “Drinko de Mayo” celebrations,Star Wars Day Facebook posts and people spending all day pregaming for two minutes of TV are all things that make you recoil. If recent events have been bumming you out, remember that last Friday, at least one really awesome thing happened.

As you probably already know from the influx of Twitpics of the dedication sign, Palmetto Playground, a small Brooklyn park near an expressway ramp, has been renamed Adam Yauch Park, after the late Beastie Boy and proud New York native son Adam “MCA” Yauch. The dedication ceremony for the park sounds like it was a pretty cool affair, with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz adding additional verses to “An Open Letter to NYC” and MCA’s mother, Frances Yauch, giving a touching tribute to her son. But it wouldn’t be a proper tribute to MCA without words from his former groupmates, and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz’s words for his friend are beautiful and fitting for the occasion:

"It’s fitting that we’re here today to dedicate a playground to Adam Yauch because like the Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys is for the children. I was trying to think of what to say today, and I was thinking what it means to be a New York kid: People come to New York to be themselves, to express themselves and to be who they want to be. And although Adam’s mom Frances is a New York kid herself, his father Noel came to New York to be himself.

And together they raised a New York kid, Adam Yauch, and Noel and Frances raised him right. They taught Adam to be curious, thoughtful, kind and just enough crazy – that craziness that is New York. That New York frenetic energy: It’s musical, artful and always moving forward. And that’s not only Brooklyn, that’s Adam Yauch.”

As for the park itself, the NYC Parks Department shouts out its namesake on its website with a quote from “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” and notes that the park is where Yauch’s father taught him how to ride a bike. But if Beasties history isn’t enough impetus for a visit to Adam Yauch Park, then perhaps the description of the local foliage and park features will:

“When you visit his namesake park, be sure to take in the wide variety of trees, including silver lindens, London planes, pin oaks, and Norway maples. The playground also includes full and half basketball courts, a community garden, a greenhouse, a small fitness area, an open play space, drinking fountains, and a dog run.”

Watch Ad-Rock’s speech below, and be sure to spend sometime outside this week. It will be good for you. We promise.

Remaining Beastie Boys Sue Monster Energy Drink Over Megamix

New Yorkers, hip-hop heads and appreciative fans of things that are good have all been careful about honoring the legacy of gone-too-soon Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch, saluting the rapper and artist through every means from a Senator giving him official recognition to a superfan giving fellow enthusiasts a "life tour" to kids on a corner somewhere blasting "Sabotage." Now, MCA’s fellow bandmates are paying respect to him in a different way. 

Earlier this week, it was revealed that MCA stipulated in his will that even in the wake of his passing, companies would be unable to use his music, art or likeness for commercial means. Given that an artist’s death will often lead to exploitation of said artist’s image and work for profit, this measure makes sense. At first, it was unclear whether or not that meant songs the Beasties wrote as a collaborative effort, but given the suit Mike D, Ad-Rock and Dechen Yauch have filed against Monster Energy Drink over a 26-song Beasties promotional megamix used as part of a web advertising campaign for Monster’s "Ruckus in the Rockies," as well alleging the company used misleading language implying the Beasties consented to the project. Although the terms of MCA’s will are not explicitly cited in the grounds for the suit, the timing is pretty apt. The suit accuses Monster of being in violation of the Lanham Act, which regulates trademark infringement; and they will seek $150,000 in damages.. 

SPIN has the original court complaint, which you can view here. Or, you can remember the good times, with some of the songs featured in the megamix: 

See New York Through the Eyes of a Beastie Boys Superfan

The passing of Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch left holes in the hearts of hip-hop heads and New Yorkers of many stripes, but in the wake of his passing last spring, there have been more acts of celebration of MCA and the Beasties than of mourning. There was MCA Day in May, observed with a giant party in Union Square, and a resolution passed in the New York State Senate honoring his life.

Because, as everyone knows, the Beasties can’t, they won’t and they don’t stop, one megafan is inviting all of his friends (134 are marked as attending on Facebook) to a Beasties fan celebration and tour this Saturday, the eve of what would (and let’s be real, should) have been Yauch’s 48th birthday. Beginning at Frederick Douglass Playground, Palk will take fellow Beastie pilgrims on a walking/subway tour of sites important to the growth and impact of the hip-hop trio, beginning with the site of John Berry’s loft, where Michael “Mike D” Diamond played in The Young Aborigines and met MCA at one of their gigs, laying the groundwork for what would be the Beasties. Other key landmarks include iconic punk performance space 171A, Oscilloscope Laboratories and the site of the Paul’s Boutique album cover. A complete lineup of destinations can be found here. The celebration continues with a party at the Overlook Grill. In terms of ways to spend your weekend, you could do a whole lot worse than this.

Talib Kweli Premieres New Song, Salutes MCA

Fans at Talib Kweli’s Toronto show over the weekend were treated to some old-school and some new releases. Kweli, backed by a live band, covered the Beastie Boys’ classic "No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn" before launching into a new song from his upcoming album, Prisoner of Conscious, although Kweli did not reveal the song’s title. Following his own song, Kweli offered words of praise to the late Adam "MCA" Yauch before launching into a verse over DJ Khaled’s "I’m On One."

Kweli began working on Prisoner before last year’s Gutter Rainbows, but the latter was released first—many of the songs on Rainbows were initially written for the upcoming album. Now, he’s bringing his new material to audiences, although there is no official word yet on a release date for his new album or on his confirmed but not-recently-referenced follow-up collaboration with Madlib, Liberation 2

In the meantime, roll clip and enjoy: 

MCA Honored With Day In New York, In NY State Senate

The music world is still reeling from the loss of Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys, and fans in the group’s hometown of New York will be celebrating his life with a giant party in Union Square this weekend. What’s surprising, however, is that the state Senate is also getting involved.

Senator Daniel Squadron (great name), who represents the district of Brooklyn in which MCA resided, introduced and spoke on behalf of Senate Resolution J.4637, "Mourning the death of famed rapper and Activist Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch."

As it read:

“The music and message of the Beastie Boys evolved over the years, but they can’t, they don’t, they won’t stop changing the face of hip-hop, of music, and of our culture… The Beastie Boys exemplified New York through a period in which grassroots creativity and a community of iconoclastic artists helped redefine and rejuvenate a city on the ropes, with iconic imagery from Brooklyn to Ludlow Street… now, therefore, be it resolved, that this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to mourn the death of famed rapper and activist Adam “MCA” Yauch.”

The resolution passed on Tuesday. MCA Day will be observed in New York’s Union Square on Saturday, May 19th. The goal of the event, as written on its Facebook page, is to celebrate the life and work of Yauch and the Beasties. The banner of the event includes Yauch’s image superimposed on a Tibetan flag, representative of a cause (freedom for the nation of Tibet) that was dear to his heart. 

"This celebration will be a physical form of a true Beastie Boys song," the organizers write. "Eclectic people sharing different words and ideas, coming together in unison, fusing together on the same beat to celebrate life, have fun and be part of something incredible."

If you can’t make it out to the party in Union Square, you can always watch Sen. Squadron’s testimony.

Linkage: The Shocking Price of a Break-Up, Jay-Z Thinks Gay Is OK

One of BlackBook‘s favorite funny gals Julie Klausner shares the lessons she learned from creating her hilarious podcast, How Was Your Week? [FastCoCreate]

"It was hard, very hard," says Chloe Sevigney of the prosthetic penis she had to wear on her new show, Hit & Miss, on which she plays a pre-op transgendered hit-man. [Telegraph]

Breaking-up is hard to do, but when your boyfriend suddenly leaves you for another country, the resulting anxiety can be pretty pricey. [The Billfold]

Jay-Z comes out in support of President Obama’s support for marriage equality, calling it "the right thing to do." [NewNowNext]

Still mourning MCA? Cheer up with this adorable video of kids re-enacting the "Sabotage" video. [Sound of the City]

Carrie: The Musical, the play based on the Stephen King novel and which recently saw an Off-Broadway run earlier this year, will be licensed for regional productions. Anyone want to start up a theater group and/or get jobs running high school musical theater departments? [Playbill]

Speaking of Carries, Julianne Moore has signed on to play the evil Margaret White in Kimberly Peirce’s remake of the Brian DePalma film. [Deadline]

"I lost my limbs after five years of butt injections!" We are so sorry! [Hypervocal]

Bummed about last night’s season finale of Smash? Need your fix for the insane plotlines, ridiculous Broadway scheming, and Debra Messing’s dumb son? Fear not: I suggest you go back and read the brilliant Rachel Shukert’s recaps of the first season. [Vulture]

Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino celebrates her sophomore album’s release today, but did you know she’s a budding fashion designer? [Death & Taxes]

Alright, we admit it: we’re stupid as hell. [Jake Fogelnest]

Watch Coldplay’s Tribute to Beastie Boy Adam Yauch

After a long battle with cancer, Beastie Boys co-founder Adam Yauch, aka "MCA," died yesterday at the age of 47. Yauch’s passing elicited tributes from all over the music world, including one from Coldplay–and its frontman, Chris Martin–during the band’s concert last night at the Hollywood Bowl. After the jump, watch Martin and Co’s acoustic rendition of the seminal Beastie Boys classic, "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) [via ONTD]

Adam Yauch’s Best Moments

Beastie Boys co-founder, Adam Yauch, better known as MCA died today at the age of 47 after a battle with cancer. Reports are still scarce though his cancer had been reported on before. Yauch is survived by his wife and daughter and, of course, his Beastie Boys cohorts Mike D and Ad-Rock. After the jump, check out our favorite videos of the trio’s 33-year career.

Plus, for further reading, here’s something from the BlackBook archives: litte-seen footage of Beastie Boys performing on ’80s public access show, The Scott & Gary Show.