It's still weird writing "the two surviving members of Beastie Boys," but Ad-Rock and Mike D have opened up about the legacy and death of Adam "MCA" Yauch, who died of cancer on May 4.
The pair spoke separately to Rolling Stone's David Fricke about Yauch's role in the band and dealing with the illness he would eventually succomb to. Both Q&As are worth full reads, but here are the most interesting and touching bits...
Mike D: "He had this tenacity and faith before he discovered Buddhism. His mom said that was already there. No matter how straight-up nuts an idea was, he had the ability to follow through on things he believed in."
Ad-Rock: "When we met [producer-musician] Mark Nishita, he and Adam would talk all this musical s**t: 'You should go up a fifth here.' I'd be like, 'Tell me where to put my fingers, and I'll play that for four minutes.'"
Ad-Rock: "When the s**t hit the fan, after Licensed to Ill, we started having arguments: 'I wrote 37 percent of this song.' 'These 16 lines are mine.' We decided none of that mattered. From that day on, everything was split three ways."
Mike D: "Yauch was a gifted MC. It was his flow on things, rather than specific lyrics, that first blew Adam [Horovitz] and I away. Early on, we were in the studio, amazed by how Yauch made it seem so effortless. Horovitz and I were maybe a little jealous. And Rick [Rubin] said to me, "No, this is good. This is where Yauch is at. You sound like you're working hard. You're the working rapper." [Laughs]
Ad-Rock: "I don't believe Adam was afraid. Bummed out, yeah. But I can't think when I ever saw him afraid. We got jumped in Brooklyn one time, so we've been afraid in that sense. But, man, he hadn't been afraid in a long time. That gives me peace."
Mike D: "I can see making music. I don't know about a band format. But Yauch would genuinely want us to try whatever crazy thing we wanted but never got around to."
Check out the full interviews with Mike D and Ad-Rock via Rolling Stone.